State may ease rules on use of Lasix

September 20, 1991|By Marty McGee Z

Legislative approval of a regulation that would permit 2-year-olds to begin running on Lasix at Maryland tracks could come as early as today.

The 18 members of the Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR) committee were polled this week by Pat Sylvester, counsel to the committee. Ms. Sylvester said yesterday that "a decision is pending."

After a two-year process, new regulations involving the Lasix program for thoroughbreds and harness horses were sent by the Maryland Racing Commission to Annapolis for approval. The commission asked for emergency passage for two facets of the thoroughbred regulations -- the one involving 2-year-olds, and another involving minor revisions for penalty periods for bleeders.

Mike Hopkins, deputy secretary of the commission, said if the commission is notified of approval today, the rules could be in effect as early as Tuesday.

Jerry Robb, a director for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, which worked closely with the commission in forming the new rules, said yesterday he expects little or no opposition to the Lasix package by legislative members.

Two-year-olds have never been permitted to compete in Maryland on Lasix, a diuretic which can suppress pulmonary bleeding in horses. To receive the drug, horses must be certified to have bled during a race or morning workout.

NOTES: Purses for the 1991 runnings of Laurel Race Course's top 2-year-old events -- the Laurel Futurity and Selima Stakes -- have been cut from $300,000 to $200,000 each. Otherwise, Laurel's fall/winter stakes schedule released yesterday has undergone only minor changes from last year. The 29 stakes to be run from Oct. 10-Dec. 31 are highlighted by the Oct. 19-20 Turf Festival and are worth $3.4 million. . . . Miss Josh, the star Maryland-based mare, is a strong favorite in today's $185,500 River Cities Breeders' Cup at Louisiana Downs. The race is one of several rich stakes leading to Sunday's $1 million Super Derby at the Shreveport, La., track. . . . Corporate Report, winner of the Travers Stakes in his last start, is out of the Super Derby after suffering a minor fracture in his left foreleg earlier this week. Best Pal figures as the favorite, with Lite Light second choice. . . . Simulcasts this weekend at Pimlico/Laurel: The Ruffian Handicap from Belmont Park tomorrow, and the Super Derby and Man o' War Stakes (Belmont) on Sunday. . . . Live weekend features are the $50,000 Vanlandingham Stakes tomorrow and the $50,000 Queen Empress Stakes on Sunday. . . . Mike Luzzi, one of five jockeys to ride 2 winners yesterday, retains his lead in the jockeys' standings. Through 11 days, Luzzi has won 16 races, 6 more than Rick Wilson and apprentice Tim Peterson. Among trainers, Dale Capuano leads Vinnie Blengs, 8-7. . . . The Double Triple pool has risen to $130,940. It was last hit on Sept. 6, the second day of the meet. The last time it was so large was July 14, 1990, at Laurel. . . . A sloppy track at Pimlico yesterday led to 17 late scratches and very slow times. In the third and fifth races, the winners finished 6 furlongs in 1 minute, 17 seconds. . . . Larry Saumell, a former Maryland regular, is back after riding elsewhere for the last several years. . . . John Perez, 17, is the circuit's newest apprentice. . . . Victorian Hill, a top candidate for the Oct. 12 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase, is through racing for the year after undergoing successful colon surgery a week ago.

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