By Edited Press Release

Members of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) and California horse racing industry leaders are reaffirming their support for the concept of third-party furosemide (also called Salix or Lasix) administration as part of the National Uniform Medication Program, while offering reassurance that a vote by the board on Aug. 20 to refer the matter to a committee for further review is purely an effort to deal with potential problems, not to sidetrack the initiative.

“We voted for further discussion because I believe that is the quickest and surest way to get third party Lasix administration implemented,” said Chairman Chuck Winner. “If we were to adopt a rule now that is not clear with respect to a few key elements, the entire package might well be rejected during the required state reviewing process. That in turn would create a longer delay and we would be much further from implementation than we are by going through committee now, making necessary changes, and bringing this back to the board for a vote.”

Vice-chairman Richard Rosenberg, another who voted to send the proposal back to the Medication and Track Safety Committee, said he wants “technical and legal issues addressed, so that we can vote on the proposal with complete confidence. From what I heard at the meeting, others feel the same as me. We want this done correctly. I did not hear even one commissioner express opposition to the concept of third-party Lasix administration.”

Executive Director Rick Baedeker said a meeting of the medication committee will be scheduled as quickly as possible and the proposed regulatory amendment will be back before the full board at the earliest opportunity.

“The Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) remains firmly committed behind the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) and the Nation Uniform Medication Guidelines,” said TOC President Joe Morris. “Two of the four components to the program have been approved by the CHRB and the other two components should be passed by the end of this year. We will continue to work with the CHRB and the industry stakeholders to help make this happen. The third-party Lasix administration program was delayed on Thursday but still will be implemented. The California industry is still very much in favor of the RMTC efforts.”

The discussion of this matter by the board at Aug. 22 meeting can be heard in its entirety through a link on the CHRB website (Segment C, Item 10, beginning at 43:40).