Although the Mid-Atlantic Uniform Medication Program
does not go into effect until January 1, 2014, Monmouth Park
will institute the new Lasix administration portion of the program with the
start of live racing here on May 11.
The uniform medication program was created to unify
medication policy and drug testing among New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania,
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Massachusetts for the first
time ever when it takes effect.
The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association
has chosen to implement one aspect of the new program – pre-race administration
of Lasix – with the start of Thoroughbred racing in the state this year.
Under the new policy, an outside veterinary company
has been contracted to be the sole administrators of race-day Lasix, the
diuretic that acts to suppress bleeding in horses.
Every horse that races on Lasix will be treated in
its stall 4-4 ½ hours before race time by a veterinarian employed by Kunze
Equine. No other vet will be allowed in the stall before the race.
Mike Musto, executive director of the NJTHA, said
that New Jersey
has decided to implement the new rule this season because the administration of
Lasix is such a key component of the new uniform program.
“We are taking this proactive step as a prelude to
the 2014 rules,” Musto said. “By
starting now, horsemen will have time to adjust to the other rules that take
effect in the new year.”