Racing without Lasix: third quarter 2019 update

Through Labor Day, it appears that top Chicago-based trainer, Larry Rivelli, has a safe but not insurmountable lead amongst all trainers with 13 non-Lasix wins. Mr. Rivelli finish 2018 as the second leading trainer in wins without Lasix with 18.

His closest rival for year-end honors is Delaware Park-based trainer, Stacy Hendry, with 10 wins. Mr. Hendry has already exceeded his  total of nine wins last year without Lasix when he finished in a three-way tie for fifth place nationally.

After nine months of racing, there are 11 trainers with a half dozen wins or more.

Larry Rivelli                         13

Stacy Hendry                      10

Christophe Clement           8

Timothy Hamm                  8

Jamie Ness                        8

Bill Hof                                 7

Jennifer Johnston             7

Kyndra McKinney              6

Alfred Peone                       6

Burton Sipp                        6

Laura Wohlers                    6


Another graded stakes win

Just this past weekend, a horse racing without Lasix powered to a graded stakes victory in the $150,000 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park on October 5, 2019.

Alms, a 2-year old City Zip filly trained by Michael Stidham, didn’t disappoint as the 3-5 betting favorite, winning by 1 ¼ lengths after, according to the Equibase result chart, going seven wide. Alms was the only filly in the field of six without Lasix. The winner is a homebred owned by Godolphin.

Alms joins Fancy Dress Party, a Ben Colebrook-trainee that captured the $150,000 Beaumont Stakes (G3) during Keeneland’s spring race meet, and Green Light Go, a James Jerkens-trainee that won the $200,000 (G3) Saratoga Special, as the only horses thus far this year to win in graded stakes company without Lasix.

I spoke to Mr. Stidham, who indicated that he starts almost all his 2-year olds without Lasix. He closely monitors them by scoping after races and workouts and then places them on Lasix if their condition indicates any bleeding.

Mr. Stidham is well on his way to his best season ever. A model of consistency, Mr. Stidham has won over $3 million in purse money in eight of the past nine years. With $3,733,338 in earnings through October 6, 2019, he is well on his way of surpassing the $4 million mark for the first time this year.

Mr. Stidham’s home base in the winter is the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. His horses have been split this summer between Monmouth Park (50 horses), Fair Hill Training Center (40 horses) and Arlington Park (25 horses).

Alms is not the only stakes winner trained by Mr. Stidham this year that ran without Lasix. On September 1, 2019, Micheline broke her maiden in fine fashion as the 9-10 top choice in the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park. The 2-year old filly is by Bernardini and is another homebred owned by Godolphin. Micheline had previously finished third in her debut in a maiden special weight race at Saratoga.

I asked him what was next for Alms. Though undecided, he says he has “one eye” on the Breeders’ Cup. That could make her next start on Friday, November 1, 2019, at Santa Anita. Mr. Stidham indicated that he plans to race the filly without Lasix in her next start.

Oddity at Delaware Park

Since the September profile I wrote on Delaware Park-based trainer, Stacy Hendry, I have been following his stable. Mr. Hendry is relatively unique among U.S. trainers in that he races almost all of his horses without the aid of race-day Lasix – even his older horses. That is unlike other trainers who selectively race some or most of their 2-year olds without Lasix.

Last week in an allowance race at Delaware Park, he had an entrant named Don’t Charge Me. Sent off as the 5-2 favorite in a field of 10, Don’t Charge It finished second, beaten by 3 ½ lengths, but I saw something in the Equibase result chart that surprised me. The winner also raced without Lasix.

The winner was Glam, a 4-year-old filly trained by J. Kent Sweezey. In the U.S., it is unusual to see horses any race run 1-2 off Lasix. Rarer still is to see that happen in a race for older horses.

This was not Glam’s only visit to the winner’s circle this year without Lasix. On May 3, 2019, she surprised a field of $30,000 claimers at 13-1 at Belmont Park. She also won a starter optional claiming race ($25,000) at Monmouth Park on July 25, 2019.

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