US trainers back race-day horse medication ban

NEW YORK (AP) — Todd Pletcher and D. Wayne Lukas are among a group of high-profile horse trainers urging a gradual elimination of race-day medication in the United States.

Their proposal announced Friday calls for a ban on race-day mediation for 2-year-olds beginning next year, followed by a ban on medication for all horses in 2016. Currently, it is legal in the U.S. to use the drug furosemide on race day. The diuretic commonly called Lasix is used to mitigate bleeding in the lungs, a common issue for racehorses. Use of Lasix on race day is banned in Europe and nearly every major racing jurisdiction outside North America.

The group of mostly New York-based trainers joins many high-profile owners and breeders, the Jockey Club and other national racing organizations in calling for a ban on race-day use of Lasix, but the movement has been resisted by a majority of horsemen.

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