Gulfstream Park announced today it will begin third-party administration of race-day Lasix beginning Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.
The policy will prohibit any private veterinarian from being in a horse's stall on race day.
By 6 a.m. of race day, horsemen will hang a red tag outside a horse's stall reading 'Horse In Today.' This will identify that horse for their pre-race exam and treatment of Lasix by a Gulfstream regulatory veterinarian. Horses being treated must be on-site one hour prior to Lasix being administrated or by 11:30 a.m.
"Gulfstream Park has instituted this policy to keep the playing field level, keep private veterinarians out of horse's stalls on the day they race, and also to continue building the integrity of the sport," said Gulfstream President Tim Ritvo. "It's important for the betting public, the economic engine of our sport, to understand no horse can be seen by a private veterinarian on the day of a race and only a Gulfstream regulatory veterinarian can administer medication.
"The program is not for Gulfstream to make a profit. In fact, we hope the program will drive down costs, allowing us to return any profit to the Thoroughbred industry."
Phil Combest, president of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, said; "The FHBPA and its membership support the third-party administration of Lasix on race day. Our ongoing goal is the same as that of every other horsemen's group across the country...a transparent, level playing field for all horsemen. There's no question that third-party administration is an important step in that process."
Dr. Scott Hay, an equine veterinarian at Teigland, Franklin and Brokken, said; "Although third-party Lasix administration is somewhat controversial among racetrack veterinarians, we have seen it successfully put in place in several racing jurisdictions recently. I think most of us can agree that it is more important to have the ability to protect our patients from the negative effects of EIPH with race-day Lasix than which veterinarian gives it."
Trainers will have the option to have the horse treated with Solu-Delta, which must be cleared at entry time. The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering allows the use of Solu-Delta on race day.
All costs will be deducted from the Horsemen's Bookkeeper Owner's account.
Trainers are required to have an attendant present when a horse is treated. If there is no attendant, the horse will not be treated. If a horse is scratched due to no attendant being present, a fine will be issued at the discretion of the stewards. Fines will increase with each offense.