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PLEASE read this.

Because you simply will not believe it or understand why, how officials thought it a good idea.

At Woodbine, in Canada, that country’s leading racetrack, one I’ve been to many times, a decision that defied all semblance of logic occurred the other day.

A winner was disqualified because it did NOT have drugs in its system. It tested negative, and when it did, that upset the hierarchy because it was supposed to be souped up.

HC HOLIDAY (Ami’s Holiday – Henry’s Collection) won its maiden there and connections rejoiced as he earned $38,000 for the effort.

However, because Canada still foolishly labours under the assumption that the banned drug Lasix should be allowed to be administered to a racehorse on race day, HC Holiday win was taken down and his connections are now suing.

Before we unpack this astonishing story, please note – any country that allows Lasix is languishing behind all the other major flourishing racing jurisdictions in the world. They also will be the first to close the doors on the sport should PITA and the animal activists win in court.

Australia, England, Ireland, New York, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand for instance absolutely, thankfully 100% BAN the use of Lasix.

Yet, HC Holiday, now a 3YO, was put on a Lasix program as a 2YO and once on it, Canadian stewards have this extraordinary rule that states you have to race on it for 100 days. But last year Covid came, and racing in Canada stopped for many months so HC Holiday went to the US and raced at Turfway Park, a track that rightly so does not allow Lasix.

Roll forward a year and he is back at home at Woodbine. With no Lasix.

“The horse was entered in the race NOT on Lasix. His entry, clearly marked NO Lasix was accepted by the stewards, and he raced NOT on Lasix. As was advertised to the public in the form. Nobody was deceived and no foul was committed and no protest was entered by anyone,” said Colleen Dalos whose father owns the horse.

“There is a rule in Canadian racing that says if you are on the Lasix program, you must get Lasix the morning of the race otherwise stewards will scratch you. HC Holiday was never scratched, yet 3 weeks after his win, the stewards have DQ him because he did not race on the drug,” Dalos explained.

When asked for their side of the story, the governing body of Ontario racing, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), who insist Lasix is safe for horses racing (and they are wrong), refused to discuss the matter.

And that would be because this scenario has NEVER happened before. Stewards of Ontario screwed up by allowing the race to run, but because they did, there is NO rule in the laws of Canadian racing that cover a DQ for a clean horse winning a race.

Hence the connections suing the AGCO.

So a few things here.

Canadian racing MUST join the rest of the world and ban the use of Lasix. They are draconian in their keeping the drug on the allowed list.

Woodbine officials MUST apologise to the rest of the world for bringing the sport into disrepute.

The entire board at the AGCO should immediately be fired.

And the World Horse Racing association should publicly condemn and shame Woodbine because everything about this DQ is detrimental to the sport of horse racing and, mores, to the beautiful animals that compete in the sport.

It’s Halloween… and appropriately so, off went the head and on came a pumpkin onto these inane, bizarre, out of touch Canadian horse racing officials.

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