TWO-YEAR-OLD LASIX BAN TO START IN 2020; STAKES RACES LASIX BAN IN 2021A coalition of leading Thoroughbred racing associations and organizations announced today a new initiative committed to phasing out the use of the medication Furosemide (Lasix) beginning in 2020 and eliminating the use of Lasix in stakes races held at their racetracks beginning in 2021.Coalition racetracks that have signed on to this initiative include all tracks owned or operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and The Stronach Group as well as Del Mar, Keeneland, Lone Star Park and Remington Park, Los Alamitos Racecourse (Thoroughbred), Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs. Taken together these tracks represent 86% of the stakes races assigned graded or listed status in the United States in 2018. The coalition tracks will work diligently with their respective horsemen’s associations and racing commissions towards implementing this effort.Under the new program, beginning on January 1, 2020, two-year old horses would not be allowed to be treated with Lasix within 24 hours of a race. Beginning in 2021, the same prohibition would extend to all horses participating in any stakes race at coalition tracks. Accordingly, in 2021 the races comprising the Triple Crown would all be run under the new rules regarding race day medication.Breeders’ Cup Limited, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association (TOBA) and the American Graded Stakes Committee of TOBA, and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association have also joined the coalition in support of this new policy.“This is a progressive and unified approach to the subject of race day medication, achieving consistency with international standards for young horses and those that form the foundations of our breeding stock,” said David O’Rourke, president and chief executive officer of NYRA.“This is a huge moment that signals a collective move to evolve this legacy sport. While there is still more work to be done, these reforms are a good start. This industry coalition has taken an important step forward toward a uniform policy and we are committed to focusing our attention and resources on how to make further improvements that directly prioritize equine health and safety. We applaud our industry partners and we look forward to continued collaboration,” said Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of The Stronach Group.“Over the past several years, we have met with numerous stakeholders to drive action on many of our sport’s central issues,” said Bill Carstanjen, chief executive officer of CDI. “This is a significant and meaningful step to further harmonize American racing with international standards. We will continue to work with other stakeholders, including our horsemen and regulatory agencies, to fully implement this and other important reforms.”“This new program is an essential step as we look toward the long-term sustainability of US-breds on the national and international stages. Protecting the integrity of our sport is core to our mission and is our collective responsibility to the industry,” said Keeneland president and chief executive officer Bill Thomason.The coalition racing organizations invite other North American race tracks to join this effort and adopt the same policies. Participating tracks include Aqueduct Racetrack, Arlington International Racecourse, Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Del Mar, Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream Park West, Keeneland, Laurel Park, Lone Star Park and Remington Park, Los Alamitos (Thoroughbred), Oaklawn Park, Pimlico, Presque Isle Downs, Saratoga Race Course and Tampa Bay Downs. Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park will continue to run under the previously announced limitations to race-day medication.
Boxing action will return to the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall this weekend with a number of young boxers taking to the ring to compete in the ‘Young Guns- The proving Ground’ boxing card.Brainchild of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC), in collaboration with Dexter Marques and Clive Atwell, the five-card competition is regarded as an avenue to give younger boxers an opportunity to showcase their talent while building their portfolios.Speaking with Guyana Times Sport, organizer and boxer Dexter Marques shared a bit about the event’s purpose.“It’s all about exposing our young boxers, because for the past couple years we haven’t had a champ, we haven’t had a title fight, or no belt to our country; and we have a lot of young fighters now turning pro, and we expect good things from them”, Marques stated.He noted that development of those boxers would provide them with opportunities to venture outside of Guyana and the Caribbean for a higher level of competition.“By building our young fighters, it helps them to move forward into the boxing world; ‘cause they’re a lot of openings and shots waiting for our young fighters, but they need to build their records, and the only way they can do that is to prove themselves in competition,” he explained.The boxing enthusiast also disclosed that plans are in the pipeline to keep similar competitions going, since it would be beneficial to the objective of continued development.“Myself and the Board came together, and the plan is every other month there will be a card, and boxing will be alive,” Marques shared.The undeniable main bout of the night will be the middleweight showdown between Guyana’s Derick Richmond and Barbados’s Keithland King. In this grand event, Marques noted, there will be a lot to prove, since competition between the two countries has been ongoing for some time now.“The Bajan guys always think that they control from middleweight to the light- heavy to the heavyweight; so it’s a very good competition for our Guyanese fighters. Guyanese fighters think they control those categories too; so it’s a good competition,” he said.The other fights of the night will see Anson Green going against Joel Williamson in the junior welterweight category, Delon Charles and Terrence Adams matching gloves in the featherweight category, and James Moore and Romeo Norville exchanging punches in the cruiserweight category.The only female encounter of the night will see Rewinna David and Ansilla Norville facing off in the bantamweight division.Marques is urging boxing fans and the populace alike to come out and support this noble venture. “Everything will be more exciting because it’s youngsters; all we need is the support from the public, because we want boxing to be the number one sport in Guyana again.”Admission to Saturday’s bout is $1000 for entry to the stands, and $2000 for a ringside seat.