Next year, 2-year-olds that run in the top Thoroughbred races in the United States, including major Kentucky Derby prep races, will have to do it without controversial anti-bleeder medication.
The American Graded Stakes Committee, which gives the races their designated ranking, announced Thursday that it will not allow the use of furosemide, commonly known as Lasix. If tracks allow it on race day, the race will lose its coveted graded-stakes status but otherwise the move has no enforcement authority.
The use of anti-bleeder medications has come under fire in recent months and the Breeders' Cup recently announced it will ban their use in the 2-year-old championships in 2012 and the 3-year-old championships in 2013.
But the graded stakes ban is a pilot project that the committee said it will evaluate after one year. Unless state racing jurisdictions or racetracks take action, other 2-year-old races apparently will allow the drug.