Letters to the Editor

Barr: My bill is about the integrity of racing, not banning a drug

Justify, with Mike Smith up, was all alone at the finish in the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The 3-year-old Thoroughbred also won the Preakness and Belmont, becoming the 13th Triple Crown winner in the sports’ history.
Justify, with Mike Smith up, was all alone at the finish in the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The 3-year-old Thoroughbred also won the Preakness and Belmont, becoming the 13th Triple Crown winner in the sports’ history. rgarrison@herald-leader.com

In a June 8 opinion piece, Dr. Andy Roberts, a reputable veterinarian for whom I have a lot of respect, asserts that my legislation, the Horse Racing Integrity Act, primarily aims to ban Lasix.

This characterization is imprecise and incomplete. In fact, this bipartisan legislation would allow the out-of-competition administration of Lasix and enact reforms to enhance uniformity, safety and integrity in horseracing.

The most recent draft of this bill was developed through a highly deliberative, bipartisan process, resulting in support from over 110 members of Congress and all facets of the horseracing industry, including breeders, owners, trainers, racing associations and jockeys.

I am honored to represent the Horse Capital of the World and have worked diligently to enact a wide range of polices that will promote growth in this key Kentucky industry. In addition to medication reform, I have worked successfully to broaden financial institutions’ acceptance of advance deposit wagering platforms to increase fan participation in wagering.

Additionally, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included my bill, the Race Horse Expensing Certainty Act, which allows horse owners to immediately deduct the full cost of their investment upon purchasing a racehorse.

Finally, I helped persuade the Treasury Department to modernize the tax treatment of parimutuel proceeds, resulting in new regulations reducing the number of winning tickets that require withholding and reporting.

In the wake of Justify’s historic Triple Crown win, we must build on this momentum to continue fighting for the future of our signature industry.

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr

Lexington

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