Horse Racing

Coach Aidan O’Brien says eliminating race-day meds at Breeders’ Cup is a ‘good factor’

DEL MAR, Calif. — For the primary time, all 14 Breeders’ Cup races this weekend at Del Mar can be run with out race-day medicine, the ultimate step in a course of that had the antibleeding medicine Lasix prohibited in races for 2-year-olds finally yr’s world championships.

Irish coach Aidan O’Brien referred to as the rule growth “undoubtedly a very good factor.”

Breeders’ Cup CEO Drew Fleming stated he believes the prohibition led to a file 46 foreign-based horses competing on Friday and Saturday, together with seven from Japan.

“We do not medicate our horses over right here in any respect,” O’Brien stated, “and the one medicine they get is any form of antibiotics for chilly or flu or infections.”

O’Brien, second all-time in Breeders’ Cup purse earnings amongst trainers, beforehand used Lasix on his horses within the Breeders’ Cup to be on a good enjoying discipline.

Formally often known as furosemide, Lasix is a diuretic that’s broadly used within the U.S. to forestall or curtail exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging. Many of the remainder of the world’s main racing jurisdictions prohibit it on race days.

“It is a authorized medicine, it is a therapeutic medicine, and I am undecided most of the people understands that,” stated Corridor of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, who’s an analyst on NBC’s protection of the Breeders’ Cup. “Much less medicine to most of the people I believe can be optimistic.”

This yr’s Triple Crown races have been run with out Lasix, in addition to many of the graded stakes at such main tracks as Churchill Downs, Belmont and Saratoga in New York, Santa Anita and Del Mar in California and Keeneland in Kentucky. That features races within the Breeders’ Cup Problem collection, which ensures winners a spot within the two-day world championships.

Breeders’ Cup officers started on-site pre-competition testing a day earlier this yr, amassing blood and urine samples from all 166 horses entered. Outcomes are due again earlier than scratch time on Friday.

Veterinarians from the Breeders’ Cup and California Horse Racing Board could have their eyes skilled on all the horses, from the paddock to the warmups to the beginning gate and galloping out past the end line.

The highest 4 finishers in every race can be topic to post-race testing that appears for over 600 compounds in blood and urine samples, stated Dr. Jeff Blea, the CHRB’s new equine medical director.

Strict whip guidelines enacted in California a yr in the past should be adopted by jockeys, lots of whom come from out of state or abroad for the richest two days in North American racing.

Riders are restricted to 6 underhand strikes in a race and are allowed two strikes earlier than giving their horses an opportunity to reply. Whips can be utilized solely on a horse’s hind quarters or shoulders, can not break the pores and skin, can’t be utilized in a movement that begins above the shoulder, and can’t be used when a horse is out of competition or reached a most inserting.

Violators could be fined or suspended.

“It is completely different and they are going to have to regulate,” Bailey stated.

He referred to as the principles a “crapshoot” as a result of relative to the purse cash at stake, the fines appear insignificant. Breeders’ Cup races vary in worth from $1 million to $6 million. A jockey usually earns 10% of the successful proprietor’s share of the purse.

“For those who’re nose-and-nose for a win and also you’re solely going to must pay $500 or $1,000 to interrupt the principles, the inducement is likely to be there for that a lot (purse) cash,” Bailey stated.

Essentially the most scrutinized coach at Del Mar this weekend can be Bob Baffert, who leads all trainers in Breeders’ Cup purse earnings, with almost $36 million.

With the intention to take part, he agreed to unprecedented screening, remark and testing of his horses at his personal expense.

The nearer remark is the results of Baffert having 5 medicine violations within the final yr.

He has eight horses entered, together with three within the $2 million Juvenile on Friday. His filly, Gamine, is the early 3-5 favourite within the $1 million Filly & Mare Dash on Saturday.

Medina Spirit, winner of the Kentucky Derby who failed a postrace drug check, runs within the $6 million Traditional on Saturday.

“We look ahead to a secure two days of racing,” Fleming stated.

Extra adjustments await subsequent yr, when the Horseracing Integrity and Security Authority is scheduled to take cost of testing, enforcement and punishment requirements throughout U.S. racing.

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