Statement from The Stronach Group on the Collaboration Among U.S. Racing Organizations to Prohibit Race-Day Medication at National Tracks

ARCADIA, CA – The Stronach Group applauds our national industry partners on their new commitment to phase out the use of the medication Furosemide (Lasix) beginning in 2020 and eliminate its use in stakes races held at their racetracks beginning in 2021.

Last month, The Stronach Group, together with our industry partners in California, took the bold and necessary steps to begin to modernize and reform our sport for the betterment of horse and rider welfare. This industry-led initiative, successfully gained approval on groundbreaking Lasix reforms from California’s regulatory body for horse racing, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB). At today’s CHRB meeting, the medication reforms were approved state-wide at all California racetracks.

While steeped in both history and tradition, the sport needs to be modernized in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of horses and athletes first and foremost. This watershed step demonstrates a national alignment and action to elevate the standards within horse racing in the United States.

“This work has not been easy, as we have learned firsthand in California, but it is impactful and imperative to crystallize the future of this sport in this country. At Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, we are on track to be aligned with medication standards consistent with, or more restrictive than, those of the International Federation of Horse Racing Authority, which are the world’s benchmark for horse safety and welfare. While we have paved the way in working with the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the CHRB to make changes here in the state, national collaboration is necessary in order to truly evolve the sport,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President of The Stronach Group. “The desire to achieve uniform policies is the beginning of a movement that will redefine the expectations and views on safety within our sport. I applaud all our partners and look forward to continued swift and strong collaboration.”

The Stronach Group–owners of both Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields–is forging ahead with industry partners in California with previously announced progressive reforms ranging from medication overhaul to training protocols. The horses that race at these two racetracks now do so under the strongest medication regulations in the United States. The Stronach Group will also commit, in collaboration with industry partners, to have medication-free stakes races in 2021 at the company’s other tracks Gulfstream Park in Florida, Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park in Maryland and would include the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series and the Preakness Stakes.

While there is still much work to be done, this is a historic moment for the Thoroughbred racing industry. The Stronach Group will continue to lead by example by partnering with critical stakeholders for the ongoing modernization of the sport.