Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales Agency said recently that he had "gone back and forth on how to feel about the (racetrack) medication issue over the years." Now he's leaning toward a ban of race-day treatment even though some of the horses he sells might have a better chance for racing success with approved medication to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage or soreness.
Here's what Taylor has to say:
"The cost of maintaining the horses is continually going up and vet costs, especially on the racetrack, are really high. Purses are basically stagnant or going down. It's a broken model.
"I used to be more ‘hey, we've got to be able to run on Lasix (the animal version of the drug now is known as Salix) or whatever because what about if somebody buys a million dollar yearling and all of a sudden it starts bleeding. You've got to have a safety net.' But I'm almost to the point where -- and I'm not in that game (racing) every day - - (I would support ending race day medication) just from a sheer economic point view.
"If you just said, ‘You can't run on anything,' and everybody couldn't run on anything, it would cut your veterinary bills in half. They (the horses) may not run as fast, but they're either capable of getting around the racetrack or they don't need to be there.
"Until we can get the economics of the industry turned around and going in the right direction, you've got to cut costs, so I think it's going to get more back to horsemanship. It is becoming more and more valuable all the time now. That's what I've been telling our nephews who are coming up. I'm like ‘keep working to improve your horsemanship while the market's down because the really good horsemen are still going to be able to make money. If you're not a horseman, you're going to be in trouble.' "