Bad news for opposers of Lasix as study points to more effective use
Opponents of the raceday use of controversial anti-bleeding medication Lasix have been dealt a blow with a recent study indicating the drug is not as effective over 24 hours from racetime.
The study compared results of the administration of Lasix on horses four hours and 24 hours prior to exercise and found that horses scored lower on a scale measuring bleeding severity and red-blood cell counts when the drug was used four hours before a workout.
In the US, racing states allow for the drug to be administered four hours prior to a race.
None of the connections of the 12 runners in the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, won by Gun Runner, elected to take advantage of a 7lb weight concession under new race conditions for any horse racing clean of the medication.
Equine researcher Dr. Heather Knych, who led the study, and her team also concluded that Lasix was not entirely effective in preventing bleeding in racehorses during exercise, although was most effective when used over a shorter period.
The administration of Lasix continues to be a contentious issue for European trainers with runners in the US, most notably at the Breeders' Cup.
Andre Fabre has consistently observed a policy of never running his horses on Lasix and enjoyed success with the Dubai World Cup-bound Talismanic in the Turf last year.
However, opinion within the US is more divided, with, if anything, a majority of racing professionals comfortable with the current rules.
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