Race-day Lasix in non-graded stakes remains in place

Given the delay in the launch of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority's Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program, the existing regulations governing the use of Lasix in Maryland remain in effect.

Currently, administration of Lasix is not permitted within 48 hours of a race for graded stakes and all 2-year-old races, including stakes. Race-day Lasix is permitted in all other races, including non-graded stakes. Please note that the Laurel Park stakes book and January condition book indicate Lasix isn't permitted within 48 hours in non-graded stakes, but that is not correct.

The ADMC Program was scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2023. It remains to be seen when HISA will resubmit the regulations to the Federal Trade Commission, which must approve them before they take effect. The law calls for a 60-day public comment period after the regulations are officially published in the Federal Register.

Though language addressing the constitutionality of HISA was included in the federal omnibus spending bill that was signed into law Dec. 29, there are multiple legal challenges still making their way through the federal court system.

The HISA law mandates a three-year study into the use of Lasix in Thoroughbreds; the study period will commence when the ADMC Program is launched.

The stakeholder group that meets twice a year to discuss the Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan to Reduce Equine Fatalities discussed the HISA Lasix study in December to develop suggestions on specifics that need to be addressed in any comprehensive study of the therapeutic medication used to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.

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