- 06 Jul
Unless the Maryland Racing Commission directs otherwise, there will be no 2-year-old races in Maryland in 2020 in light of the refusal of The Stronach Group, owner of the Maryland Jockey Club, to card 2-year-old races unless they are lasix-free.
In March 2019, TSG announced that it would impose a ban on lasix in horses born after 2018 at its racetracks. The action stemmed from a series of catastrophic injuries at Santa Anita—though it was widely acknowledged that lasix had nothing to do with that situation and the announcement was considered a misdirection to deflect criticism of the company’s safety and welfare practices and track maintenance. Subsequently, TSG joined with a coalition of racetracks that announced they would seek to ban lasix in 2-year-olds beginning in 2020 and all stakes races beginning in 2021.
The Boards of Directors of the MTHA and Maryland Horse Breeders Association, in response to the TSG announcement, met jointly to review the TSG lasix announcement. The Boards determined to issue a joint statement in opposition, and it was released on April 24, 2019. In response, TSG President Belinda Stronach asked to meet with both groups, and a meeting was held at Laurel Park during Preakness week in 2019.