TDN:  In front of a standing room only crowd Monday, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission narrowly failed to pass new regulations to phase out the use of raceday furosemide, commonly known as Lasix or Salix, in the state beginning next year. By a seven-to-seven split margin, the proposal failed to gain the needed majority and the issue, for now at least, has been shelved.

The use of Lasix has been hotly debated in recent months nationally, and came to a head in Kentucky last week when it was announced that a proposal would be put before the Commission at Monday’s meeting. The new regulations called for the elimination of raceday Lasix for 2-year-olds beginning Jan. 1, 2013. A year later, the ban would extend to horses aged 3-years-old and under, plus 4-year-olds racing against 3-year-olds, and all horses competing in stakes races. By 2015, all horses in the state would be barred from being treated with Lasix on raceday.

The regulations specified a 24-hour withdrawal period prior to racing, meaning that horses could still be treated with Lasix while training. On Monday morning, an amendment was added to the proposal that called for a review of how the new rules were affecting Kentucky racing, to be completed no later than Sept. 1, 2013.

The KHRC’s Race Day Medication Commission met first to debate and vote on the new regulations, and passed the measure by a 4-1 margin. After a brief break, the issue came before the full Commission, which gave each of the 14 commissioners the opportunity to weigh in. Representatives of certain groups and organizations were also invited to voice their opinion.

After roughly two hours of debate, the commissioners remained split, and Commission Chairman Robert M. Beck, Jr., a proponent of the regulations, declared that the proposal would not pass.