Breeders’ Cup won’t allow race-day Lasix in qualifying races

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Qualifying races for this year’s Breeders’ Cup will be run without the antibleeding medication Lasix in the world championships’ attempt to move toward the elimination of race-day medications.

Under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which was passed by Congress in December, Lasix-free racing will be the U.S. standard as of July 1, 2022.

Last year, 2-year-olds ran without Lasix on the first day of the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. This year’s event is set for Nov. 5-6 at Del Mar in Southern California.

The Breeders’ Cup is following the path of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes. Starting this year, the Triple Crown series won’t allow Lasix.

Churchill Downs decided that no qualifying points will be awarded in Kentucky Derby prep races for any horse that runs on race-day Lasix. The medication, known as furosemide, is used to prevent or reduce the severity of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. Use of the drug in racing has been widely debated for years.

Cup officials said Wednesday that no points for its “Win and You’re In” qualifying series will be awarded to horses using race-day Lasix.

“Extending this standard to all races associated with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will hopefully set an example for other racetracks and stakeholders to embrace forthcoming safety and integrity measures, including the elimination of race day medication, as a new, safer era for our storied sport approaches,” said Drew Fleming, president and CEO of Breeders’ Cup Ltd.

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