Protecting the Brand - by Eric Mitchell


Perception is reality. Over and over we hear this phrase as it relates to politics, business, and even Thoroughbred racing. These three words are used so often because the concept is real and powerful.

Unfortunately, racing is dealing with its own shady perceptions. At the forefront is a belief that North American horses need race-day medication to compete. Race-day medication means allowing a horse to run on the anti-bleeding drug Salix.

Having horses running on drugs is not sitting well with people in this country; heck, it’s not even sitting well with our fans.

The “Driving sustainable growth for Thoroughbred racing and breeding” study done this year by the international management and consulting firm McKinsey & Co. indicated only 46% of racing fans would recommend horse racing to other people. By comparison, 82% of baseball fans, 81% of football fans, and 55% of poker players are evangelists for their sport of choice. Then when McKinsey asked how many racing fans considered themselves “proud to be a fan,” only 35% said yes compared with 66% for other sports.

Can we blame Salix for the bad perception? We can blame a big part of it. In the same study 78% of horse racing fans said medication was an issue negatively affecting the sport, and 36% said it was among the top-three issues facing the industry.

Part of the perception problem is the general public does not distinguish among Salix or cocaine or anabolic steroids. Drugs are drugs.

Salix does help horses with exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging, known more commonly as bleeding or the rupture of capillaries in the lungs due to the tremendously high level of air pressure while horses race. But not every horse is a bleeder, and not every horse requires Salix on race day. We know this because horses are running without it on race days in every other racing jurisdiction in the world.  

So now we are caught in a war of rhetoric. The pro-Salix camp says the North American racing industry will collapse if we don’t keep race-day Salix use—field size will diminish, and owners will abandon the sport. The anti-Salix camp says the breed will weaken and the sport wither because fans old and new will not support horse racing if racing on medication persists.

Fans are racing’s customers. Fans also become bettors and owners. If we don’t deal aggressively with the perception that horses must race on medication, then the reality is we’ll have fewer owners, bettors, and fans.

Dealing in Facts

One of the biggest challenges in the debate on medication use has been squaring comments with facts. We had a question raised about a statement made by trainer Rick Hiles, a member of the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, during a KEDRC meeting in May. Hiles relayed a story from an unnamed individual who wanted to know why an unnamed European country had reported no positive test results for phenylbutazone, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug called Bute. The reason, the individual told Hiles, was that the country doesn’t test for Bute, and we repeated Hiles’ story in this column (The Blood-Horse of June 4, page 1515). We followed up with Dominique de Wenden, secretary general of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. He said by e-mail: “We are not aware of any Western European country not testing for Bute.”  When Hiles was contacted and asked about De Wenden’s comment, Hiles said his source was referring to England and that the source had actually talked with someone in a lab overseas. The reason for no positives, Hiles said, might be because the threshold is high enough that no one crosses it.

The bottom line of this tale is that all Western European countries do test for Bute and the level is far lower than the 2 micrograms/ml allowed in the United States. Dr. Rick Sams, director of the HFL Sports Science testing lab in Lexington, said the level of detection in Europe corresponds to the same level at which Bute can no longer be detected in urine, so any amount detected is considered a positive. We couldn’t find an exact threshold for Bute, but Sams said it is in nanograms/ml. A nanogram is 1/1,000th of a microgram. One reason England does not have any positives is the recommended withdrawal time for oral and intravenous Bute is seven days, according to the European Horserace Scientific Liaison Committee. To be below the 2 microgram/ml threshold in this country, horsemen cannot give 2 grams of Bute within 36 hours of a race.

Navigating the complex world of medication use in racehorses is tricky enough even when all the facts are known. Let’s hope everyone serving on an industry board, council, or committee dealing with medication has a renewed commitment to shining light on the truth rather than clouding the issues with hearsay. 

28 Comments

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Lexington Bloodstock

When I hear trainers and race horse owners moan about new medication regulations I shake my head.

Bettors and potential fans just don't trust our sport because of the prolific use of medication, i.e. DRUGS.

They also don't trust our sport when a small group of trainers, no matter how talented they may be, with large stables scattered around the country, win races at high percentages with regularity.  

Our sport is already on death's door without the artificial stimulation of RACINOS.  

When will people in the "sport" wake up??  Probably not until it's too late.

30 Aug 2011 1:21 PM
fb0252

mr. mitchell might want to take one of his horses down to Louisiana Downs and race them without lasix in their humidity and air pressure.  see what the "perception is" there.

30 Aug 2011 2:14 PM
Triptych

Thx for your refreshing blog, Eric. Coming from Europe I've been a huge fan of american racing a couple of years now. I love these kind of racing style but could never understand, why there is such an excessive use of drugs over there. Yes, we use bute as well here, but have to declare it by a vet in the horses papers. These papers must go everywhere, where the horse goes. With close controlls, there is nearly no chance of getting  a doped horse into a race. And, wonder, they can withstand the gruelties of a hard race without drugs ^^

I was really shocked by the latest comments of T. Pletcher and M. Repole why they think salix is needed. Well my opinion, if horses can't race without drugs, they shouldn't race at all and of course should not be used un the breeding shed.

Thx again for your courageous effort!

30 Aug 2011 3:11 PM
SUNNY FARM

I know that when the ban on all drugs in the race horse occurs , that this will bring even more horses into racing as well as the stronger return of the fans & bettors.

I have been thinking of some solutions to the problem & would like to hear what other's say & if they have any ideas.

One idea would be to explore other anti-bleeding stategies, such as longer times to allow for training and also install turn-out facilities at the tracks.

(More consistent excersise , more lung capacity & LESS un-soundness issues )

Other natural methods to help bleeding in race horses that are NOT an agent to hide other drugs.

What about herbs ?

White willow bark can & is used instead of Bute (for pain management ) and is natural for the equid. In this natural state , the white willow bark does NOT cause ulcers , un-like buffered aspirin & Bute.

I am certain that there are herbs to help with any bleeding in the race horse & strengthen the lungs and tissues. Like Vit. C.

I am sure that there are many other natural solutions I have not even thought of.

Well, those are my ideas for now.

I hope we may work on solutions.

Drugging the horses is not one of them. This is more than a black eye in racing, it is the severing of the head. I know many people who would race thier horses if and when the changes are made to level the playing field. I am one of them and my home breds do not need drugs to race and suceed.

Thank-you for your time.

The horses thank-you.

30 Aug 2011 3:19 PM
Dennis

did I hurt someone? I have awaited your posting my comment on the above.lasix/salix, however you have not posted it! probably...it's really the truth, and you guys are afraid to post it

as it may cause problems when some who eat's and drink's salix/lasix

see's it and then become upset with you"The Bloodhorse"for posting it, but this is only my opinion, and then with my permission, anyone can view them, they dont have to believe my opinions..so please post them, it's for all those who want to see other people's views about Salix/Lasix, and should not hurt even the addicted administer of these stimulants,I am only sorry for the poor Horses, who have bad liver, kidneys, and do breakdown,

due to running their eyeballs out,

when given these stimulants,even tearing sesamoids, because these stimulants make horses out perform themselves, and results in major breakdowns..like I said,good for money making, bad for breeding,also most horses in USA are brothers and sisters, and when they go to stud, they in-breed, and negative results in foals, and

it's a big mess right now, they should just inject "pigs" and race them, this is what Horse racing in USA have come down to.

30 Aug 2011 3:36 PM
beau

The last thing we the fans of horse racing care or worry about is LASIX. You site a poll that asked fans about drugs in horse racing, right? Drugs to any lay person are considered illegal performance enhancing substances. NOT LASIX!

It is all about the blue blood breeders who want to market their stock to the Europeans. If they were so adamant about LASIX then why do ALL of them still run their horses using it?

Because they are HYPOCRITES!!!

30 Aug 2011 6:36 PM
sceptre

But, perception ISN'T reality, and we shouldn't guide our decisions as if it were.

Also, your anecdote about Bute is about bute, not Lasix (Salix). And, I wonder how many of those non-N. American supposedly non-bleeders would indeed be non-bleeders if, a) they competed and were COMPETITIVE over here, and/or, b) were routinely scoped following their races (big difference between epistaxis and non-epistaxis "bleeding"), and/or, c) subjected to COMPREHENSIVE post-race screenings for alternative anti-bleeder meds (if such screenings could ever keep pace with the latest drug technology).    

30 Aug 2011 11:14 PM
kincsem

If racing does not clean up its act, it is doomed. That includes zero tolerance of race day, and performance enhancing medications. Not to mention holding trainers, no matter how many big clients they have in their barn, accountable for their actions.

30 Aug 2011 11:30 PM
footy231

sick of hearing pro salix get rid now,no more chemical horses with questions over your chemical champions

31 Aug 2011 4:34 AM
EJMitchellKy

Dennis,

We never did see an earlier post from you regarding Salix, so your comment was not overlooked or ignored. But I will take this opportunity to remind everyone that comments are moderated. We don't publish comments that are abusive to other commentors, libelous, or profane.  

31 Aug 2011 10:07 AM
EJMitchellKy

Sceptre,

I think the story about Bute is applicable to the entire debate about medication use. We are going to hear extreme comments made on both sides of the argument over the next several months. I just want the people making the decisions to stick with what they know to be true.

31 Aug 2011 10:12 AM
an ole railbird

i have been involved in horse racing since 1957. & have used & seen bute used all those years. we have seen all kinds of products come & go. the hard cold facts are , that even with modern medicine being what it is . there has never been a product on the market, thats as good, or better than bute. # 2 it makes no sense to outlaw lasix, for bleeding, when we now have more horses that are bleeders than ever. by the way willow bark prepared correctly has the same affect as aspirn . it has been used to control fever in animals & people for generations.

31 Aug 2011 1:29 PM
hendrytraining

This debate is long overdue,in my opinion we have derailed while most other racing jurisdictions around the world are still doing it the right way for the horses and the industry. Just like everything else in america we have no patients or common since. We want our money back  yesterday from a sales purchase and that forces trainers to run these two year old's before they are ready physically or mentally. We rush a large portion of our race horses through the two year old sales ring where they learn nothing but go go go then after being purchased the owners want them running as soon as possible entering them within months of the sale. Once again this is just my take on it but the explosion of juvenile races especially since 1984 with the breeders cup and all the graded races we force our nervous young horses to run in contributes to the bleeding problem not to mention watering down of our stallion lines. Nervous babies washing out before races with only one thing on their minds run as hard and fast as i can when these doors open are more than likely going to  hemorrhage well before any kind of decent distance for a thoroughbred. So whats the quick fix bleeder medications now your caught between two evils lack of training and knowledge of how to get a thoroughbred ready to run and running the animal on medication which dehydrates and causes bones to burn calcium which leads to breakdowns. I'm pretty sure california dirt did not go through some crazy organic change since the turn of the century causing horses to start braking down at alarming rates. Now fake dirt was the best they could come up with which by the way runs more like grass yet it is still lumped into a dirt category at award time, anyway that didn't fix the problem were still seeing hundred thousand dollar babies making two starts and heading to the breeders shed. I had this conversation with my father in high school, he used lasix as a quarter horse jockey to help keep his weight down. He told me to put a cc in my drink and go cut the grass , the same yard i push mowed every week,so i did. After peeing my brains out for an hour i tried  but couldn't get half way through it before i nearly passed out. I do realize the other use for lasix is covering up the illegal stuff on race day but wouldn't a ban on it make it even that much harder for the pharmacitst / trainer to get away with stealing purse money and by pharmacists/trainer i'm referring to any so called trainers who have to go through our judicial appeal system in order to start a horse in his or her name. We are imploding our industry from the inside out. Just try and match a stallion with most mares in america  and get a rout a ground dosage. Who knows how many sire generations deep we are in horses half trained and stuck on lasix to become champion sprinters instead of two turn monsters. My 5 year old can stick a horse in the gate have it  run as fast and far as possible. Training in my opinion is teaching a horse to run slow .It would take one freak of a horse to win a triple crown when trainers are dehydrating them two to three weeks apart against the toughest competition in the world. I wonder how many beach houses have been purchased by track vets due to lasix. Our industry must be run by the same fools running the rest of the country, common since for sale.  

31 Aug 2011 5:41 PM
tenmd

Very true, perception is just that...perception. Not fact. Let's look at the facts. Back in the 1970's we called Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH), epistaxis because it was thought to be bleeding from the nose. With the arrival of fiberoptic endoscopes which are capable of viewing the trachial airway and deeper pulmonary structures, it was discovered that the origin of the bleeding was actually the lungs.

It is now known and confirmed by many studies where horses were "scoped" after exercise, that while only about 5% of horses show blood from the nostrils after a race, that endoscopically up to 75% of horses show blood in the    trachea after a race and up to 93% of horses have blood   detectable in the trachea from bronchoalveolar lavage after  a race. Furthermore, it has been shown that lasix reduces the severity of pulmonary hemorrhage by 70%.

It is high time that the racing regulators stick their noses out of their ivory towers and get a whiff of reality. EIPH is a real problem with horses and it would not be fair to withhold a proven treatment from them just to improve "perceptions" which may or may not be an issue with the betting public. The playing field is level! All horses now have the legal option of this highly regulated therapeutic medication.

When will regulators finally realize that every time they limit or take away the option of utilizing regulated therapeutic medications (with proven need and efficacy) that horsemen will look elsewhere for other treatments which may not be as efficacious nor legal (but undetectable) to fill the void. Those are the "drugs" that are ruining our public perception. Not lasix which is published in the form, but the new designer drugs which come into use when the regulators ban the use of our legal medications.

Horsemen will always be looking for an edge. That is the nature of the game. When you get beat a nose going a mile and a quarter you go home and think about what could have been done differently and leave no stone unturned. Don't take lasix away from us. It would be unfair to our horses who try so hard and whom we all love and care for without regard for cost.

What we do know is that EIPH is a real problem in horses and that it is not going away. I truly believe that if lasix is banned then a great variety of "home remedies" or illegal and undetectable designer drugs will emerge to take it's place. Now that WOULD damage our public perception. The new question would be "who has the good stuff?"  

Furthermore, it has been shown that lasix reduces the severity of bleeding by 70%.

01 Sep 2011 10:12 AM
blunny

If lasix is banned:

We will not be seeing foreign horses coming to the USA in need of lasix to continue their careers.

Cheap horses running at small tracks in need of lasix will be turned out to pastures hopefully and not slaughtered. Small owners & Trainers will quit. Fields will shrink, less races, small tracks will fold up and all will join the unemployment ranks.

01 Sep 2011 10:12 AM
CHAR1973

Perception is reality - doesn't anyone remember the old adage "If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck it's probably a DUCK?"

The industry pro-drug/pro-salix reps are howling because they want to keep racing horses on race day meds - with salix at the top of their wish list.  Why?  Is it because trainers/owners want to run an unsound horse or that vets are in the pocket of pharm salesmen or that bush league track management is terrified of being winnowed out by the bigger tracks who will draw healthy and sound horses?  

I don't know.  

But to a fan who believes that the horse is the number one concern and that to handicap fairly the game should be clean - this is a no-brainer.  ALL race day drugs - be it performance enhancing or theraputic - must go.  

If a horse is unsound - don't run.  If a horse is sick - don't run.  If a horse is a bleeder in more than one race - don't run....and more importantly - don't breed them.  

It will mean smaller foal crops. It probably will mean a lot more geldings and fewer active stallions.  And it will mean fewer racing thoroughbreds.  But isn't quality better than quantity if we are to survive as a sport and industry?  

We are in an age where unsound stallions and mares are bred and produce foals that go under the knife in infancy to surgically correct inherited conformation flaws.  Why do we breed stallions/mares who's offspring are genetically prone to unsoundness or have propensity to bleed?  How is this improving the breed and strenthening the industry?  Are we such slaves to the medical "quick fix" that we cannot even imagine functioning free of them anymore?

Has the ideal of a healthy, sound, non-bleeding Thoroughbred running on nothing but hay/oats/water really gone the way of the dodo in the USA?  

We are looked at as the drug den of the international racing community.  We have to catch up to the healthy and higher standards set by the rest of the racing world. Do that, and the game will not only be cleaner, it will be perceived as more humane and - dare I say it - honorable.

01 Sep 2011 1:19 PM
sceptre

Eric-

Almost needless to say, I concur with tenmed's post. tenmed elaborated, quite nicely, on the points of my previous post. So Eric, as author of this blog, if you disagree with what tenmed and I offered, let's hear it-spell it out, point by point. Please take particular note of the findings of the Hinchcliff,Phd., Morley, Phd., DVM & Guthrie, Phd. comprehensive study, and the fact that there has been NO STUDY to refute it. It's time for intelligent DIALOGUE-rather than what normally occurs on these blogs.  

03 Sep 2011 10:22 AM
Brigitte

Race day Salix should be banned because the tendency to bleed heavily is highly heritable as shown by a South African study.(Why South African? Because in the USA 95% of horses race on Salix. Why? Because it causes pre-race loss of 30-40 lbs of urine and minerals including calcium. Handicap weight differences are peanuts compared to that.) Horses bred to bleed can race and breed succesfully here and Europe sends their bleeders here.

Are all horses bleeders that need "therapeutic" Salix? Not unless you define bleeding as having traces of blood visible with an endoscope on at least one occasion. If you define bleeding as severe bleeding (epitaxis), that tendency is highly heritable and not very common in the rest of the world. It's probably much more common in the USA, but we don't know because it's masked by Salix. Mind you, some horses bleed even thorough Salix here.  

Is it good for horses to breeze and race dehydrated by Salix (they get Salix to breeze, too) and be given a shot of minerals hours later to compensate? Good question nobody is asking.

Something has weakened the American Thoroughbred after the seventies, and meds are a candidate.

I'm a biologist and I use genetics  so the heritability of bleeding was alarming. Dog breeders have lots of genetic problems as an unintended result of breeding for looks....

04 Sep 2011 9:07 PM
hendrytraining

I doubt we will ever have standards on what we are aloud to call a stallion ,that would make to much sence and I dont think home cooked remedies would ever be needed since drug companies are oferring trainers new drugs which are not tested for all the time. If a trainer cant get a horse to run without medication then he should send the animal home and hope it is trained properly from the beggining and usualy that means letting the horse determine when its ready to go to the next step instead of being forced to the races because it shows signs of early speed. Has anyone ever wondered why races in other countries have so many  horses in the final photo and not one or two then ten links back two or three more then eight lengths back two more which have given up  or been pulled. Some of the top trainers in america destroy more late developing stakes horses because they were not ready to compete as two year olds on lasix completely dehydrated.Maybe lasix does help a bleeder to improve a bit but its a bandaid on the issue. The decisions owners and trainers are making with young horses is the root lets fix that.

04 Sep 2011 11:13 PM
Karen in Texas

sceptre---I assume you are referring to the 2009 study confirming the efficacy of furosemide for pulmonary bleeding. (I have read the actual study on the Colorado State Univ. site.) There has been no study to refute it, but considering the fact that it could be considered a "landmark" study, there should be other research following it to replicate and expand upon those findings. Why has it taken many years to research and confirm the effectiveness of a widely used medication in the thoroughbred industry? As a healthcare professional that seems backward to me. I don't think the study will be refuted--it may be ignored amid the furor over "raceday" meds, but similar studies need to go forward. For the welfare of the horses, the efficacy should be reconfirmed and balanced against possible negative side effects. Weighing the positive against the negative is the basis for prescribing all medications in actual practice. There is still time to carefully and accurately evaluate the furosemide issue, but the initial work might better have been done a couple of decades ago.

05 Sep 2011 11:35 AM
birdie5

As a trainer for over 20 years I think that the ban of race day medications will ruin the sport not help it. First; Lasix is NOT a performance enhancing drug. Have any of theose calling for the ban of Lasix ever experienced first hand a horse that suffers an exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage? If they have and are still calling to ban the medication that prevents it then they are promoting the abuse of animals. Choking on their own blood while running at full speed when it can easily be prevented with a simple shot is nothing short of sadistic. And as for Bute, a medication that is given the night before, it is not performance enhancing either. The use of Bute actually prevents a horse from being hurt. Let me put it in human terms; maybe you have a  little pain in your left knee, nothing serious, nothing an aspirin won't take care of but you don't take anything before you go out for a jog. The pain in your left knee causes you to involuntarily put more pressure on your right leg. After you cool down you find that now while your left leg still hurts, your right leg hurts worse. For a horse in a race however the results can be catastrophic. The horse gets off of the leg with the little pain, puts more pressure on the one that had no pain and breaks down. If this is the kind of thing that you purists want to see I suggest that you watch NASCAR and hope to see a crash and leave our wonderful animals alone!

05 Sep 2011 2:43 PM
Dennis

I really do hope that they now do everything ..yes everything to cure

the bleeding by owners, trainers horses, everyone who bleeds, and stop this bleeding!what is the popular opinion, I really dont know

I guess there is the blood bank, they always needs blood, so those bleeding horses, trainers, owners

really should sign up, and before raceday, make a bleeding donations

and there would be no need for salix/lasix!!!because they would have already bled,a few years ago

it was a crime to administer lasix &

bute, but now it'a a red carpet, it's like when big brown trainer said he used "steroids"and the racing world honored him,so go figure,they all want the continued drug uses, if you ask me!

05 Sep 2011 4:15 PM
Karen in Texas

Mr. Mitchell---My comment on September 5 was only meant to say that the efficacy study published in JAVMA in the summer of 2009 was a good example of controlled, clinical research and that attempts to replicate usually follow such findings in human medicine. Was this somehow offensive? I agree with sceptre's September 3 comment and would reference the article in your own BH from June, 2009. In it, the authors of the furosemide efficacy study (Hinchcliffe, Morley, and Guthrie) state that they themselves believe that "some racing jurisdictions may reconsider their ban on the use of furosemide." They go on to elaborate on the study findings as illuminating a potential animal welfare issue, even naming racing jurisdictions where the thinking might be reversed. I will link the BH article here, and can also link the actual study from the Colorado State site if necessary.

www.bloodhorse.com/.../study-shows-furosemide-has-beneficial-effects

06 Sep 2011 1:02 PM
Diego Conde

Perception is reality...so let us change perception. I am a strong believer in image and branding. I don't think Bute and Lasix should be treated as equals, as synonyms. The overuse of Bute has dire consequences for our main assets, the horse (let's talk business here). Running a horse marinated in Bute masks the alerts that the body sends to the horse to protect his feet or legs. Deactivating that alert causes the horse to aggravate his prior injury.  Fewer sound horses, shorter fields, lower handles and pools. The short-term effect of allowing ailing horses to participate does not compensate the long term effect of not having the horse next meet. You'll be able to race him twice a month, but his not running as a 4yr-old.

Lasix is a different horse race. Horses are medicated with Lasix not because they are injured, but because we want to prevent an injury. Lasix’s prophylactic effect allows horses to exercise and perform without damaging their lungs. It takes several weeks for a horse to recover from a level 5 bleed.  Not using Lasix will result in bleeding, damaged lungs, more down-time and fewer horses in the field.

Performance enhancing drugs must go. But, Lasix is not performance-enhancing either. Yes, they race better when using it. But I perform better when I take my Vitamin C in the morning. Is Vitamin C a performance enhancing drug? I didn’t think so. The horse performs closer to 100% not over it.

I’m all for the stopping the overuse of Bute. It should be used by veterinarians to treat a specific injury or ailment, not as part of race prep.   As for Lasix, I am not. I am for education. Let us educate people and show them that Lasix is not masking any symptoms of an ailment, that the horse is not running faster than his normal capacity, and that it preserves the horse’s health in the short and long term.    

Lasix is not the real enemy.  The juice that some irresponsible people feed colts so that they look like sires at the yearling sale (while their bones have the consistency of my grandmother’s hip) is the real enemy.  The junk that some trainers inject 15 minutes before going to the paddock is the real enemy. Let’s put an end to that first, and then we’ll talk Lasix…if we need to.

07 Sep 2011 12:45 PM
Karen in Texas

In my above comments I referred to the Hinchcliffe, Morley, and Guthrie efficacy research on furosemide as "the 2009" study. The work was actually done in 2007, I believe, but published in JAVMA in July, 2009.

Mr. Mitchell---Thank you for allowing this discussion. As sceptre observed, more than superficial dialogue is needed or required for some topics.

07 Sep 2011 3:38 PM
sceptre

The tail (conclusions of the uninformed masses) wagging the dog (science and logic). This seems to be the dynamic, if raceday lasix (salix) is indeed banned.

Eric- while your piece may fall short of outright support to those who wish to ban lasix, it certainly fuels their fire-strengthens the "tail". You've now had the opportunity (here) to read some of the other side (opposing views). Well, have you changed your position? If not, then please offer a logical retort. On the other hand, should you now agree essentially with what Karen in Texas, tenmd, I, and some others offered, please, at least, say so, and better still follow it up with an addendum to your published piece in the (print) magazine.    

07 Sep 2011 5:39 PM
Bellwether

STAY TUNED!!!...FER SURE...ty...

08 Sep 2011 4:26 AM
blazing blade

I have been in the business of racing for 35 years, from trainer to racing offical. Time after time trainers have put their two year olds on lasix for the reason of; "maybe" they will bleed. I believe the ignorance of some trainers has diluted the performance of an individual by using drugs for no logical reason. As a trainer, my veterinarian suggested medications to "enhance" the performance of many of my runners. I realized after receiving huge vet bills that nothing could replace quality training, care and feeding. My Vet never won a race for me. Many trainers follow a trend of medications and practices supplied by popular trainers.It has become a fad. Medications have diluted the breed. It may explain why we have not had a triple crown winner in many years.

12 Sep 2011 7:19 PM

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