The Jockey Club has reiterated its calls for a phased-in ban on the anti-bleeding medication Salix but made clear Aug. 14 it wants "medication-free" horse racing.

The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee (TSC), which already has made 11 recommendations to date, offered a few more during the Aug. 14 Round Table Conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. They deal with drug classifications, laboratory standards, and uniform penalties–issues discussed at the 2010 conference.

The use of Salix–furosemide, formerly called Lasix–and adjunct bleeder medications by far has been the most publicized and debated issue in racing this year. Stuart Janney III, Jockey Club vice chairman and chairman of the TSC, said it’s time for the industry to make changes.

"We respect the pro-Lasix opinion, but The Jockey Club believes horses should compete free of medication," Janney said. "We recommend measured steps on the road to medication-free racing."

The Jockey Club noted action taken by Breeders’ Cup and the American Graded Stakes Committee in regard to banning Salix in select 2-year-olds stakes in 2012 and recommends a crop-by-crop phase-in plan to do away with race-day Salix. It will be up to regulators in each racing jurisdiction, however, to implement such a ban.

Also, a number of trainers have voiced concern over a race-day Salix ban and its potential impact on equine health and field size. They support a ban on adjunct bleeder medications being sought by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), a group of 25 industry stakeholders, but draw the line on Salix.

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