Judge Finds In Favor Of Kentucky Tracks, Commission In Lasix-Focused Civil Case

A judge in Kentucky has denied a motion for summary judgement by the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (KHBPA) and granted a motion for summary judgement by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), Keeneland, and Churchill Downs in a civil case focusing on furosemide administration. Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate entered his order Nov. 18 after both sides had requested he find in their favor.

Earlier this year, the KHBPA had brought suit against the KHRC and racetracks because it argued the tracks inappropriately created a house rule mirroring proposed changes to state regulation beginning a partial furosemide phaseout in the state. This year was set to be the first time Lasix administration would be pushed back to 24 hours pre-race for all 2-year-olds, but a new rule reflecting this had not completed the regulatory process before the first juvenile races of the year were carded. Churchill and Keeneland wrote race conditions reflecting the impending rule change, which the KHBPA said was beyond the scope of their authority. Moreover, it had argued, the KHRC should not have allowed the tracks to make rules regarding medication. The commission and tracks cited rule language they believed did give them that authority.

After rule language reflecting the 24-hour Lasix administration in 2-year-olds went into effect in August, Wingate ruled, the question became moot.

“The Court must again begin this Order by stating that it is not concerned with any scientific or humanitarian argument in favor of or against the use of Lasix in horses,” Wingate’s order read. “This zealously debated topic is not the issue before the Court. Instead, the Court is merely addressing a legal challenge brought by the KHBPA regarding what it alleges is an improper delegation of statutory authority to associations, such as Keeneland and Churchill, by the KHRC.”

The KHBPA had also challenged plans to push back pre-race furosemide administration in stakes races in 2021. Wingate indicated any claims about the legality of that action were not yet “ripe” since stakes races for older horses have not yet been carded under these circumstances.

The post Judge Finds In Favor Of Kentucky Tracks, Commission In Lasix-Focused Civil Case appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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