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press release

Oct. 29, 2020, 1:30 p.m. EDT

Major U.S. Horse Racing Organizations Jointly Fund First-Of-Its-Kind Study On The Effects Of Furosemide In Two-Year-Old Racehorses

Study to be Led by Washington State University's Department of Veterinary Clinical Services

LAUREL, Md., Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Stronach Group together with Breeders' Cup Ltd., Churchill Downs Inc., Keeneland, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and the New York Racing Association have agreed to jointly fund North America's largest study on the effects of furosemide and on the prevalence and severity of Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) in two-year-old racehorses.

The study, formally titled Furosemide: Its Effects on the Prevalence and Severity of Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) and the Immune System's Normal Response to Exercise in Two-Year-Old Racehorses , began this month and is being led by Dr. Warwick Bayly and Dr. Macarena Sanz from the Department of Veterinary Clinical Services at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. This study represents the largest study ever to focus on evaluating the effects of furosemide on two-year-old racehorses.

The study will be focused on two-year-old racehorses only and will aim to address the debate surrounding whether or not injection of furosemide has beneficial, detrimental or no effects on the welfare of these racehorses. The use of furosemide and its effects has been a dominant issue confronting North American racing for more than a decade. The study offers an opportunity to address unanswered questions at the heart of furosemide use, namely:

  1. Does the administration of furosemide four hours before racing and/or training reduce the severity of EIPH in two-year-old racehorses?

  2. Does the pre-race administration of furosemide four hours before racing effect a horse's performance?

The study will evaluate the endoscopic exams from at least 600 horses from three groups representing the major racing jurisdictions of California, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Horses will be evaluated in three groups: 1) those who are given furosemide at least 48 hours before racing or not at all; 2) those who are given furosemide 24 hours before racing or not at all and; 3) those who are administered furosemide four hours before racing. Veterinary practitioners from each of the jurisdictions will be asked to recruit trainers who are existing clients to voluntarily participate in the study.

"This study provides an opportunity to fill a critical knowledge gap on the use of furosemide," said Dr. Warwick Bayly, Professor, Equine Medicine, Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. "As a first-of-its-kind study of this depth, it is our hope that once completed we will be able to provide additional information that will enable the horse racing industry to address the regulation of furosemide in the United States from a scientifically-informed perspective."

"The current patchwork of rules and regulations across the United States regarding the administration of furosemide does a disservice to the horses and the practitioners who care for them," said Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer, The Stronach Group. "This study is an opportunity for industry stakeholders to come together to invest in meaningful steps to address pressing questions so that we may develop a higher and more consistent standard of rules and regulations."

"The use of Lasix has long been a highly debated topic. This is our opportunity, as advocates for the safety and welfare of our racehorses, to collect and analyze vital real-life information that can be used to help answer some questions regarding the use of Lasix and its effect, but also guide common-sense regulation around Lasix use," said Dr. Will Farmer, Equine Medical Director, Churchill Downs Incorporated.

"This study represents a unique collaboration of North American racing interests to further understand the true rate of EIPH in young racehorses through endoscopic examinations performed in post-race settings," said Dr. Stuart Brown, Equine Safety Director – Sales and Racing, Keeneland. "The potential to gain insight under the present landscape of furosemide use across various racing jurisdictions will help shape decisions that benefit the safety and welfare of the equine athlete in competition." 

Preliminary results from the study are expected to be available in Spring 2021, assuming the quantity and quality of the samples satisfy the requirements for statistical relevance as set out by Dr. Bayly and Dr. Sanz.

Media Contacts: The Stronach Group - Tiffani Steer, tiffani.steer@stronachgroup.com
Breeders' Cup Ltd. - Jim Gluckson, jim@breederscup.com
Churchill Downs Incorporated - Tonya Abeln, Tonya.Abeln@kyderby.com  
Keeneland – Amy Gregory, agregory@keeneland.com
Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders, Inc., Chauncey Morris,   cmorris@kta-ktob.com
New York Racing Association (NYRA) – Patrick McKenna, PMcKenna@nyrainc.com  

About The Stronach Group and 1/ST The Stronach Group is a world-class technology, entertainment and real estate development company with Thoroughbred horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering at the core.  The company's consumer facing brand 1/ST (pronounced "First") powers The Stronach Group's forward-thinking 1/ST RACING , 1 /ST CONTENT , 1/ST TECHNOLOGY , 1/ST LIVE and 1/ST PROPERTIES businesses, while advocating for and driving the 1/ST HORSE CARE mission. 1/ST represents The Stronach Group's continued movement toward redefining Thoroughbred racing and the ecosystem that drives it. 1/ST RACING drives the best-in-class horse racing operations at the company's premier racetracks and training centers including: Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields and San Luis Rey Downs (California); Gulfstream Park – home of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, and Gulfstream Park West (Florida); the Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course - home of the legendary Preakness Stakes, Rosecroft Raceway and Bowie Training Center (Maryland). 1/ST CONTENT is the newly formed operating group for all of 1/ST's media and content companies including: Monarch Content Management, Elite, GWS and XBTV. 1/ST TECHNOLOGY is horse racing's largest racing and gaming technology company offering world-class products via its AmTote, Xpressbet, 1/ST BET, XB SELECT, XB NET, PariMAX and Betmix brands. 1/ST LIVE blends the worlds of sports, entertainment and hospitality by delivering uniquely curated events such as InfieldFest and Pegasus LIV Stretch Village. 1/ST PROPERTIES is responsible for the development of the company's live, work and play communities surrounding its racing venues including: The Village at Gulfstream Park (Florida) and Paddock Pointe (Maryland).  As the advocate for critical industry reforms and by making meaningful investments into aftercare programs for retired horses and jockeys, 1/ST HORSE CARE represents The Stronach Group's commitment to achieving the highest level of horse and rider care and safety standards in Thoroughbred horse racing on and off the track. For more information please visit www.1st.com .

About the Breeders' Cup The Breeders' Cup administers the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing's year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders' Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders' Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.The 2020 Breeders' Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky and features a total of $31 million in purses and awards. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders' Cup press releases appear on the Breeders' Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders' Cup on social media.

About Churchill Downs Incorporated Churchill Downs Incorporated is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event, the Kentucky Derby. We also own and operate three pari-mutual gaming entertainment venues in Kentucky: Derby City Gaming; Oak Grove Racing, Gaming, and Hotel; and Newport Racing and Gaming. Our online wagering business owns and operates TwinSpires.com, the largest and most profitable online horse racing wagering platform in the U.S., and BetAmerica, an online sports betting and iGaming platform in the U.S. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games in eight states.
Additional information about CDI can be found online at  www.churchilldownsincorporated.com

About Keeneland For more than 80 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. The world's largest Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland conducts four sales a year, in January, April, September and November, and presents online auctions through the Keeneland Digital Sales Ring. Graduates of Keeneland sales dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. In 2020, The Summer Meet at Keeneland presented five days of racing from July 8-12. Keeneland hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships in 2015 and will hold the event again on Nov. 6-7, 2020, and in 2022. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a privately held company with a not-for-profit mission that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses and millions of dollars donated in support of horse industry initiatives and charitable contributions for education, research, and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. Keeneland also maintains the Keeneland Library, a world-renowned public research institution with the mission of preserving information about the Thoroughbred industry. To learn more, visit Keeneland.com .

About the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association is a horseman's group and trade association representing Thoroughbred breeding and racing in Kentucky. Kentucky is the biggest producer of Thoroughbred foals in the world, responsible for 40% of the US foal crop, the largest concentration of stallions, veterinary practices and breeding farms, and is home to the largest yearling and breeding stock sales, premier race meetings at Keeneland, the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Kentucky Downs and year-round racing at Turfway Park and Ellis Park.

About the New York Racing Association (NYRA) The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) holds the exclusive franchise to conduct thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of New York State's thoroughbred industry, which is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual statewide economic impact. Accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, NYRA is a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, a group of the nation's leading racing organizations working collaboratively to advance safety measures across the sport. Over the course of 217 days of live racing in 2019, NYRA generated more than $2.1 billion in all-sources wagering handle with paid attendance exceeding 1.5 million.

View original content: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/major-us-horse-racing-organizations-jointly-fund-first-of-its-kind-study-on-the-effects-of-furosemide-in-two-year-old-racehorses-301163232.html

SOURCE The Stronach Group


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