Pricci's Saratoga Diary
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Saturday, August 02, 2014

Retraction: We Were Wrong; Industry Reactions to Trainers’ Pledge

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, August 2, 2014--The story that two of the 25 trainers who supported a gradual phasing out of Lasix beginning with the juvenile of 2015 and go to a complete ban the following year contradicted themselves, as was reported in Friday's Saratoga Diary, is wrong.

In our haste to put up the story late Friday night, we googled the issue to find out more information and up came a story written by Jerry Bossert of the Daily News with quotes from two of the trainers, Todd Pletcher and Bill Mott, contradicting their support of the Lasix phase out. A phone call to Pletcher Friday night was not returned.

The News piece was originally written in April, 2011. We regret the error, especially one of this magnitude.

We will follow-up on this story today and in the coming days. Our apologies to Mssrs. Bossert, Mott and Pletcher and to you for needlessly confusing this important issue.

Here is a complete list of 25 trainers who support the gradual Lasix phase out as was reported in today's online edition of the Bloodhorse.

Thomas Albertrani
Roger Attfield
Christophe Clement
Jose Corrales
David Donk
Neil D. Drysdale
Jeremiah C. Englehart
Eoin Harty
Neil Howard
Michael E. Hushion
D. Wayne Lukas
Richard E. Mandella
Claude R. McGaughey III
Kiaran P. McLaughlin
Kenneth G. McPeek
H. Graham Motion
William I. Mott
Todd A. Pletcher
Kathy Ritvo
Jonathan E. Sheppard
Albert M. Stall, Jr.
Dallas Stewart
Barclay Tagg
William Van Meter
George Weaver

Under the proposal, no two-year-olds would receive race day medication beginning in 2015, and no horses of any age would receive race day medication starting in 2016. In addition, this group is supportive of the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium's efforts to approve model rules for twenty-six controlled medications by the RCI board of directors.


“The position of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has not wavered. The science has not changed. The horses have not changed. Most horses suffer from exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), and Lasix is the only scientifically proven, truly effective treatment we have to protect them.

A Lasix ban does not benefit the horse, the owner or the horseplayer. Forcing trainers to return to using archaic methods to treat bleeders, whether it is the barbaric practice of taking away water for 24 to 48 hours or trying homeopathic remedies with questionable results, is not progress. Absent a researched and reasoned alternative to protect horses from EIPH, NYTHA is vehemently against any ban on Lasix.”

Statement from Breeders’ Cup Chairman Bill Farish and Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel

"On behalf of the Board of Directors of Breeders’ Cup Limited we want to acknowledge and applaud the courage of the trainers who have recently pledged their support for the gradual elimination of the use of authorized medications on race day in the United States. The Breeders’ Cup has long advocated for policies that would bring the US in line with other major international racing jurisdictions and we fully support this group of prominent trainers.

"We believe a broad coalition of tracks and owners also share this view and we are committed to provide support, financial and otherwise, to an effort to implement on a national basis phasing out race-day medications. We look forward to participating in this initiative to create a workable plan with others in the industry, including the forward-looking trainers who are signatory to this statement, all of whom are long-time supporters of the Breeders’ Cup."

Written by John Pricci

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