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Back on July 19th, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced a list of owners that have pledged not to give their two-year-olds medications on race day. The race day medications are generally looked at by fans with skepticism and it’s been acknowledged that over the long haul the drugs are not good for the health of the horse.

The use of race day drugs was started in response to bleeding that some horses have through the nose, but it was soon discovered by trainers that the drug which was used to curb this problem gave a slight competitive advantage to those who used it over those who didn’t. The drug that is most commonly used is called furosemide and although it stops the bleeding of the horse, it also can cause dehydration, which in turn leads to longer periods of rest for the horses and takes a toll on the health and longevity of the animal. Owner Bill Casner has been outspoken in the drive to curb the use of race day drugs and recently commented on the pledge that he and other owners have vowed to abide by; “Our racing industry thrived in a time prior to permitted race-day medications. Horses raced often and consistently. We are a global industry and we are out of step with the rest of the world. Race day medications are a failed experiment and it is time for us to do what is right for our horses and our industry.” {1}

In addition to Bill Casner, other owners who have committed to a race day ban on the drugging of their two-year-olds are Valor International, Ogden Phipps, Juddmonte Farms, and Darley Racing. For a complete list of owners who have made the pledge, visit the website listed below.