D Wayne Lukas: trainer supports phasing out raceday medication
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USA: Trainers including Todd Pletcher, Graham Motion and D Wayne Lukas are backing a plan to gradually phase out raceday medication in America.
At present, the anti-bleeding medication Lasix is the only substance allowed to be administered in the US on raceday, though its use is frequently scrutinised by trainers outside of America when they send horses over to compete.
When Jamie Osborne sent Toast Of New York to Belmont for the Belmont Derby in July, he said of using Lasix: “It’s a performance-enhancing drug and if our opposition is going to have their performance enhanced and we’re not, then I’m pretty silly. It doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with it, I’m just trying to win this race.”
However, that could all change by 2016 if plans backed by 25 prominent trainers comes to fruition. Under the proposal, raceday medication would be banned for two-year-olds in 2015, extending to all age groups a year later.
In a press release, Lukas said: “We believe it’s time to take a proactive position regarding the administration of raceday medication. American racing has always been a global leader, and it’s time to restore confidence in our game and in our international standing.”
There was an enthusiastic endorsement of the proposal by Breeders’ Cup chairman Bill Farish, and president and chief executive Craig Favel.
In a statement, they said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors of Breeders’ Cup Limited we want to acknowledge and applaud the courage of the trainers who have recently pledged their support for the gradual elimination of the use of authorized medications on raceday in the United States.
“The Breeders’ Cup has long advocated for policies that would bring the US in line with other major international racing jurisdictions and we fully support this group of prominent trainers.
“We look forward to participating in this initiative to create a workable plan with others in the industry, including the forward-looking trainers who are signatory to this statement, all of whom are long-time supporters of the Breeders’ Cup.”
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