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Jockey Club Goal: ‘Medication-Free’ Horse Racing

The Jockey Club reiterated its calls for a ban of Salix but made it clear it wants medication-free racing.

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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

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Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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