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The Big L

The Daily Racing Form reports that three horses, via scope or otherwise, have reported to have bled in the Breeders Cup:
  • Trainer John Sadler said both Capo Bastone and Monument, third and last, respectively, in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, bled. Trainer Mark Casse said that Spring in the Air, who finished fifth in Friday’s Juvenile Fillies, also bled.
If that's correct, that means 3 out of about, what, fifty horses showed blood?

One wonders how 98% of horses get on the drug if only 6% showed blood in a non-lasix event. However, that's probably hyperbolic and not reality.

The reality is a lot of horses may bleed (or show specs of blood via endoscopy) at some point, so North American racing has used Lasix as a cultural phenomenon. A catch all. A preventive measure. The thing we "just do".

Removing it makes it the thing to not "just do", of course. Change the goalpost, change the culture. Other measures, just like in Europe or Australia, will be used instead. I am pretty sure the world won't end.

However, American racing has to decide if it's ready to take away the diuretic. If the fact that three horses in all of the Juvenile races this weekend bled scares people that much, the status-quo will probably end up winning. If the sport sees it as being a small price to pay to change a breed, a culture and a sport, it will lose.

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