Santa Anita: hosts the Breeders' Cup for the second year in a row in 2013PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Breeders' Cup drops plans to extend Lasix ban
USA: The Breeders' Cup has gone back on a pledge to ban Lasix altogether for this year's event at Santa Anita, when the anti-bleeding medication will again be prohibited for only the two-year-old contests.
In addition, the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint has been axed from the two-day programme, reducing the total number of Breeders' Cup races to 14.
In a contentious move, Breeders' Cup organisers had planned to expand a ban on raceday use of furosemide, better known by its former trade name Lasix, across the entire 2013 programme.
But on Friday board members voted merely to maintain the status quo and uphold the ban in the four juvenile contests.
Pledging funding assistance, the Breeders' Cup Board also called for an industry-wide independent study of the causes, effects and potential alternative methods of reducing the occurrence of exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage (EIPH) in racehorses.
Breeders' Cup chairman Tom Ludt said: "We recognise that there has been great divisiveness in our industry over medication rules, but joining together in the common goal of independent scientific research of the effects of raceday medications, coupled with industry pursuit of uniform rules, will move us toward eliminating such divisions.
"Our board feels this measure, keeping the policy in place for the juvenile races and maintaining the 2012 policy on the remaining races, is the most practical course of action at this time."
The USA is the only major racing juristiction that permits the use of raceday medication.
In September last year, Breeders' Cup director of racing Josh Christian said: "We consider ourselves and international event, not an American event - and when you're an international event you have to adhere to international standards.
"A lot of my friends are vets and it's not for me to speak about the issue of right and wrong but this is what the rest of the world is doing and we are an international event."
The 6f Juvenile Sprint has been dropped from the programme after just two years. "The number of starters and overall quality did not meet the standards expected for the championships," said Cup president Craig Fravel.
"We also believe that the Juvenile Sprint had a negative impact on field sizes for both the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies."