Churchill Downs, Keeneland announce reforms

Horse Racing

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Keeneland and Churchill Downs will enact safety reforms that include the race-day ban of Lasix for 2-year-olds along with mandatory veterinary inspections before workouts and race entry.

The measures announced Thursday include enhanced reporting of horses’ fitness for trainers and vets. They will take effect for spring meets at Keeneland and Churchill that begin in April and apply to horses stabled at both tracks’ training centers. Bill Thomason and Kevin Flanery, the respective presidents of Keeneland and Churchill Downs, said in a joint statement the reforms “further advance our commitment to create the safest possible environment for racing and training.”

To participate at either track, trainers and attending vets must agree not to enter a horse unless the vet says it is fit to race three days before entry. Trainers also cannot work a horse unless the vet finds him fit five days beforehand.

Changes in a horse’s fitness after an examination must be reported to the tracks’ respective equine medical director and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Horses at both tracks will also undergo veterinary inspections and monitoring by the medical directors.

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