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Churchill Downs, Keeneland announce safety reforms

Posted: 4:35 PM, Feb 27, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-01 11:12:06-05
Sunday Update from Churchill Downs

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP/LEX 18) — 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.”</p><p>

Bob Elliston sat down to speak with LEX 18 about that commitment, "This is a story that doesn't end honestly this is this is a this is a focus and a priority that has to be present every single day for as long as we're in the business. That that's the commitment I think the industry has now. It's, it is it is critically part of how we go about our business, and it's and it's necessary to give confidence to the people who show up here on a Saturday afternoon and watch these beautiful animals go about their business, right?"

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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