Medication and Testing
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is the regulatory authority and, as such, Keeneland complies with any and all regulations including those pertaining to medication and testing. Where Keeneland believes there are opportunities to participate in medication and testing research or implement House Rules that would enhance the safety of the racing environment, it will engage. Keeneland is actively involved in the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) and Equine Drug Research Council (EDRC) and remains abreast of all racing medication and testing issues.
Keeneland adheres to KHRC rules regarding the administration of permitted medications and pre- and post-race testing of a horse’s blood and/or urine for illegal substances.
Additionally, the KHRC is authorized to conduct “out of competition” testing on any horse that is eligible or that may become eligible to race in Kentucky.
In the spring of 2019, Keeneland and a coalition of leading Thoroughbred racing associations and organizations announced a new initiative committed to phasing out the use of the medicationFurosemide (Lasix) beginning in 2020 and eliminating the use of Lasix in stakes races held at their racetracks beginning in 2021.
In addition to Keeneland, participating racetracks include all tracks owned or operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and The Stronach Group as well as Del Mar, Lone Star Park and Remington Park, Los Alamitos Racecourse (Thoroughbred), Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs. Taken together these tracks represent 86% of the stakes races assigned graded or listed status in the United States in 2018. The coalition tracks will work diligently with their respective horsemen’s associations and racing commissions towards implementing this effort.
Under the new program, beginning on January 1, 2020, two-year old horses would not be allowed to be treated with Lasix within 24 hours of a race. Beginning in 2021, the same prohibition would extend to all horses participating in any stakes race at coalition tracks. Accordingly, in 2021 the races comprising the Triple Crown would all be run under the new rules regarding race day medication.
Breeders’ Cup Limited, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association (TOBA) and the American Graded Stakes Committee of TOBA, and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association have also joined the coalition in support of this new policy.