By HorseracingFLA Staff
Saturday, July 18 — Gulfstream Park and its parent company The Stronach Group will take an important discussion-to-action step today in their quest to significantly reduce the use of medications in racing.
Gulfstream will have its first two races for 2-year-olds in which race-day use is not allowed for the anti-bleeding drug furosemide, which is better-known by its brand name lasix.
Many trainers use lasix, including race-day, on horses in their first race because they regard it as preventive medicine for the onset of bleeding from the nose and mouth.
The 11-race card has a first post of 1:00 p.m.
The two no-lasix races are the sixth and eighth, and both have large fields (11 horses and 12 horses) that are due in part to economic incentives that Gulfstream is offering.
Both races will have a $65,000 purse–compared with $48,000 for most Gulfstream Maiden Special Weight races for 2-year-olds Each horse will receive a minimum of $500 from the purse.
One trainer who asked not to be identified said that he and some other trainers, regardless of purse money, “want to be part of the experiment and part of the study by Dr. Selway, and so do our owners.” .
Gulfstream is working with Dr. Stephen Selway, who is conducting a study involving the voluntary scoping of 2-year-olds racing with and without Lasix.
“The results of the study will hopefully be of significant benefit to the well being of racehorses,” Selway said.
“The study has been set up as to eliminate most variables and yield non-bias data,” he added. “The cooperation of Gulfstream Park, the FHBPA, and the trainers and owners is greatly appreciated. Without their support this timely study could not be done,”
Selway’s study also receives private funding from Zayat Stables, which campaigned 2015 Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah. Video endoscopy equipment is provided by R F Systems.
* Saturday’s featured ninth race is the $60,000 Bougainvillea Handicap at five furlongs on dirt 3-year-olds and up. Little Michelle, Fascinante and Silver Sashay are likely favorites in a ten-horse field.