Summit on race-day medication of horses set for New York

An international summit on the issues surrounding race-day medication of horses has been scheduled in New York for the week after the June 11 Belmont Stakes.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced the June 13-14 summit dates on Thursday, in conjunction with the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.

The exact location of the summit has not been decided, but officials expect to discuss regulatory issues surrounding race-day medications and views on exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, commonly referred to as "bleeding."

Anti-bleeder medication such as furosemide, known as Salix or Lasix, is given to almost every horse in the United States four hours before a race, ostensibly to prevent bleeding from the lungs during the race.

But some say there is evidence the drugs, which are potent diuretics, also enhance performance.

Recently, some racing-industry organizations have called for phasing out the use of all race-day medications to restore fan and bettor confidence in the sport.

Anti-bleeder medication is banned in most overseas racing venues. Officials from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, as well as the United States and Canada, are expected to attend the summit.

"Our goal is to shine a light on how other countries manage a variety of issues relating to race-day medication," said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the NTRA. "We look forward to providing a forum for sharing valuable perspectives from some of the world's foremost trainers, regulatory authorities and veterinarians."