Ken McPeek Talks 2YOs, HISA, Lasix, Training Future On Writers' Room

The story of a high-quality Thanksgiving weekend of racing at Churchill Downs was undoubtedly Ken McPeek, who sent out four impressive winners on Saturday's all-2-year-old Stars of Tomorrow card, including GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. hero Smile Happy (Runhappy) and 'TDN Rising Star' Cocktail Moments (Uncle Mo), to follow up a six-length victory by his Envoutante (Uncle Mo) in Thursday's GII Falls City S. Tuesday, the thoughtful McPeek sat down for an expansive interview with the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland to talk about his loaded barn of promising...

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All Breeders' Cup Tests Come Back Clean

All samples collected from 2021 Breeders' Cup horses have been cleared by the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. All horses competing in Breeders' Cup races this past weekend at Del Mar were tested for TCO2 levels in blood. Post-race testing was performed for prohibited drugs on the first four finishers in all Breeders' Cup races and any additional random horses selected by the stewards consistent with California Horse Racing Board protocol. Post-race testing was done on both blood and urine samples. The...

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They Ran a Lasix Free Breeders' Cup…And Nothing Happened

The biggest story when it comes to the ban of Lasix in the Breeders' Cup is that there was no story. It was, simply, a non-factor. A total of 148 horses competed in this year's Breeders' Cup, all of them running Lasix-free. There were no reports of any horses being in distress or bleeding from the nostrils. I did not hear of one trainer blaming a defeat on the ban of the diuretic. Nor did I hear of or read about any trainers saying they were passing the Breeders' Cup...

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West Virginia Advances Model Rules; 2022 Implementation Hinges On Legislature

After a failed attempt last year to adopt a group of drug-related model rules that every other racing jurisdiction in the mid-Atlantic region has already implemented, the West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) on Monday voted 2-0 to advance to the state legislature new regulations concerning medication abuse and stepped-up penalty scales. The July 12 passage of new rules concerning clenbuterol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, intra-articular injections and the adoption of the most current Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances list did not come without drama and several detours. In fact, much...

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Maryland THA Issues Warning on Adjunct Bleeder Medication

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association issued the following statement to its members Tuesday: "Effective immediately, horsemen are urged to discontinue the use of any and all adjunct bleeder medications for horses in training, including in particular, aminocaproic acid--commonly called Amicar. Amicar and several other adjunct bleeder medications were placed on the Prohibited List in 2013 under the Association of Racing Commissioners International Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and Recommended Penalties Model Code and the National Uniform Medication Program. Aminocaproic acid, for example is a Class 4 substance and penalty...

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Pennsylvania Amends Lasix Rules

The Pennsylvania Racing Commission has adopted a new set of rules regarding the medication Lasix, which will soon be banned in all 2-year-old races and graded stakes. The rules, which were approved at a regularly scheduled commission meeting Tuesday, will go into effect June 1. There are seven graded stakes races set to be run this year at Parx, including the GI Pennsylvania Derby and the GI Cotillion S. "I thought that it was obvious that this was the right way to go because Lasix gets abused badly," said Racing...

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Steve Asmussen Talks 'Family Horse' Super Stock On Writers' Room

One of the few major races left to win for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen is the most significant prize in racing, so a win in this year's GI Kentucky Derby would satisfy an ultimate career goal. But if he were to do it with Saturday's GI Arkansas Derby victor Super Stock (Dialed In), a horse with the Asmussen family's fingerprints all over him, it would represent the sentimental success of a lifetime. Wednesday, Asmussen joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland to discuss Super Stock, the permanent...

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Trainer Orseno Responds to Bleeding Incident

When MGSW Imprimis (Broken Vow) finished second by a nose to Bound for Nowhere (The Factor) in Saturday's GII Shakertown S. at Keeneland, he returned bleeding from both nostrils. The horse had broken through the gate prior to the start and banged his head, but was examined on the scene by the state veterinarians and pronounced fit to run. Trainer Joe Orseno, who said he "thought [his] horse bled horribly," issued a statement Thursday morning through the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) in response to the incident. It...

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Week in Review: Off-Lasix 3YOs Have Now Won 25% of This Year's Derby Preps

Besides solidifying his status as a top-tier Triple Crown threat, Saturday's win by Known Agenda (Curlin) in the GI Curlin Florida Derby bolstered the overall case that the phase-out of Lasix in this year's series of GI Kentucky Derby preps seems to be having no adverse effect on performance. Through 20 races in North America since Jan. 1 that have awarded Derby qualifying points, horses giving up Lasix after receiving it in their prior start have won five of those races. Seven others have finished second, an impressive strike rate...

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Breeders' Cup Prohibiting Lasix In Challenge Series Races

The 2021 Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" Challenge Series races will be run without Lasix, it was announced Wednesday. Breeders' Cup officials also revealed that graded stakes points for the purposes of selection by committee into a Breeders' Cup race will only be awarded for graded races that are contested Lasix-free. Horses that raced on the 'Future Stars Friday' program of the 2020 Breeders' Cup World Championships were forbidden from running on Lasix, in addition to a large number of juvenile races across the country over the course of...

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NYRA Stakes to be Run Without Lasix in 2021

In accordance with its commitment to eliminate race day medication, the New York Racing Association will prohibit the use of Furosemide--more commonly known as Lasix--within 48 hours of all stakes races conducted at NYRA tracks beginning Jan. 1, 2021. In April of 2019, NYRA led the formation of a coalition of leading racing organizations founded to address race day medication in a uniform and consistent way throughout the sport. The initiative commenced Jan. 1, 2020, with NYRA prohibiting Lasix in all 2-year-old races at the three NYRA tracks. Beginning Jan....

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No Lasix for Most Santa Anita, Del Mar, Golden Gate Stakes in 2021

Lasix will now be barred through at least 2021 in the vast majority of stakes races at California's three major commercial tracks--Santa Anita Park, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, and Golden Gate Fields. The Lasix ban was part of a revised race-day medication agreement between the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) and the managements of those three tracks. The California Horse Racing Board voted unanimously Dec. 17 to approve the terms of that medication agreement for the upcoming Santa Anita and Golden Gate meets. The Del Mar-specific commission approval will presumably...

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