by Tom LaMarra
The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective
Association will tackle several issues, including governmental affairs,
high-volume pari-mutuel bettors, and use of furosemide on race day during its
winter convention Jan. 12-16 in Hollywood Beach, Fla.
Furosemide, known as
Salix or Lasix, will be discussed Jan. 14 during the National HBPA Medication
Committee forum. The organization said the “scientific case” for use of the
drug to control exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging will be the focus.
Use of the drug on
race day was a high-priority industry issue in 2011. No racing regulatory body
has taken action to ban furosemide on race day.
Panelists will be Dr.
Steven Barker, chemist for the Louisiana State Racing Commission; Dr. Thomas
Brokken, a long-time racetrack veterinarian; Dr. Mark Dedomenico, a heart
surgeon who owns Eclipse Award winner Blind Luck; and Dr. Thomas Tobin, a
professor at Gluck Equine Research Center and the National HBPA veterinary
The National HBPA
Legislative Affairs Committee will host a Jan. 13 forum to introduce American
Continental Group, the organization’s new government affairs consultant based
in Washington, D.C. The National HBPA Wagering and Alternative Gaming Committee
will discuss ways to provide incentives to high-volume bettors Jan. 13.
Other topics on the
agenda are immigration and a new advance deposit wagering system operated by
the Iowa HBPA in conjunction with Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino and
the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
concludes Jan. 16 with a board of directors meeting. The National HBPA
Executive Committee meets the previous day.
The organization’s twice-a-year
conventions are hosted by various affiliates, in this case the Florida HPBA.
The affiliates then look for sponsors to help offset costs.
The Florida HBPA in a
recent memo said it was notified by Calder Casino & Race Course that the
racetrack “was significantly scaling back its prior sponsorship commitment of
$10,000.” The Florida HBPA represents horsemen at Calder and Gulfstream Park.
The horsemen’s group
said the convention “faces a budgetary shortfall,” and that it was soliciting