Seth Hancock of Claiborne Farm believes that horses do not need race-day medication and trainer D. Wayne Lukas believes that many horsemen now rely more on furosemide and other drugs than on training and conditioning, and they make those points and several others in a series of video testimonials that have just been posted on the new cleanhorseracing.org website.
The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) launched the advocacy website in April. It is dedicated to the reform of medication rules.
In addition to Hancock and Lukas, the site features similar testimonials from Thoroughbred owners Gary Biszantz, Bill Casner, Barry Irwin and Peter Willmott as well as a segment with Hall of Fame trainer Leroy Jolley.
In part one of a four-segment package, Lukas says, “Because of the liberty of having Lasix and drugs, I think that it’s a lot easier to maybe just bypass some of the old horse truths of training and conditioning and diet and just say, ‘Well, hell, he bled, let’s give him a shot of Lasix and roll on.’”
Lukas also stresses the need for uniform medication and proper funding of drug-testing labs throughout the country.
Hancock recalled the training practices of longtime Claiborne Farm trainer Woody Stephens. “What I learned from Mr. Stephens was [that] you didn’t need race-day medication,” he said.
Features of the new educational website include news, videos, scientific studies and commentary in support of medication-free racing, as well as several action-oriented sections that enable industry participants to pledge their support for clean racing by contacting state racing commissions and signing petitions regarding medication reform.
“There is growing support for medication reform and we are grateful to all of the prominent individuals who have been willing to share their thoughts on camera for the cleanhorseracing.org website,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club.
“We can no longer ignore the fact that our sport is hampered by a public perception problem when horses compete under the influence of medication,” said Dan Metzger, president of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. “These testimonials, and all other information on this website, will bolster our medication reform efforts in a valuable manner.”
Additional information about cleanhorseracing.org can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms.
TOBA, based in Lexington, Ky., was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of leading Thoroughbred horse breeders and owners. TOBA’s mission is to improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. Thoroughbred Charities of America is the charitable arm of TOBA. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc. and is represented on the board of directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.