Lady and The Track | December 7, 2022

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Will Lasix Help Main Sequence in United Nations?

Will Lasix Help Main Sequence in United Nations? Lasix is a controversial topic in horse racing. For one, there is a widespread perception by both racing fans and casual observers that the sport is tainted by drugs. The use of Lasix, which is supposed to prevent internal bleeding, helps fuel that notion. Supporters of Lasix think that it helps a horse reach his full potential and should be legal to protect horses. Main Sequence starts in the United Nations (GI) on Sunday at Monmouth Park with Lasix and, if he follows his pattern on paper, should return to form in this turf marathon.


Main Sequence starts in the United Nations (GI) on Sunday at Monmouth Park with Lasix and, if he follows his pattern on paper, should return to form in this turf marathon.
Photo: Lauren King, Coglianese

All of Main Sequence’s best races came with Lasix, although different reasons could explain the turnaround. Currently owned by Flaxman Holdings and trained by the popular Graham Motion, Main Sequence began his career in Europe, where the use of Lasix is prohibited. He then came to America and suddenly won five straight graded stakes races in a row, four of them Grade I events, before losing in Dubai without the medication.

His form in Europe was only average, despite a great beginning. The six-year-old gelding reeled off four straight wins to begin his career and finished second in the 2012 Epsom Derby (GI). But, including the Epsom Derby, he lost at least 10 straight races before moving to America. Not all of the races were high class either. The future star finished off the board in non-prestigious events such as the Buckhounds Stakes and the Pontefract Castle, both ungraded. Granted, Brown Panther won the latter race and he possesses class. Yet, Brown Panther only managed 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI) last fall at Santa Anita Park, while Main Sequence won!

What could the non-medication reasons be for the change in Main Sequence? Maybe he found the scenery in the United States more to his liking. That sounds a bit too simple, but some horses thrive in specific racetracks around the United States. For example, the California-legend Lava Man only ran well in California. Even with a couple of lesser known horses over the years, like Stay Thirsty, there was a clear pattern in what state they liked. Stay Thirsty ran fast around the New York tracks. It is possible that Main Sequence did not enjoy the atmosphere overseas.

Furthermore, training styles are different in the United States compared to Europe. Those following California Chrome’s story all year know this. In Europe, horses go out in packs when training. They work over courses featuring more slopes. A plethora of other differences might exist too. Someone that follows European racing more closely will be able to explain them. When he switched to Motion’s barn, something about his training may have clicked.

European competition could also be tougher than America, and perhaps Main Sequence improved for that reason. Many handicappers believe this theory and go wild for any European horse that runs in a turf stakes over here. Then again, the Brown Panther example fails to support this idea as entirely true. When Main Sequence came to America and won those first three Grade I races against Twilight Eclipse, the “American turf horses are weak” logic fit. Then he won the Breeders’ Cup Turf over the highly regarded Flintshire. Flintshire ran in the Breeders’ Cup without Lasix, and neither did Brown Panther. Recently, Flintshire ran second to Treve in the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud (GI) in France and many consider Treve the world’s greatest active racehorse.

After the Breeders’ Cup, Main Sequence returned to win a graded stakes race at Gulfstream Park to kick off his 2015 campaign, before traveling to Dubai where Lasix is prohibited. The now-American turf star struggled home in the Dubai Sheema Classic (GI) finishing seventh. Some observers will rightfully point out that Main Sequence encountered trouble at the break.

Consider this other example with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. In the first four years of the race’s existence, Lasix was allowed and American horses won each edition. When they banned Lasix in 2012, a European-based horse named Flotilla won. In 2013, Europe won again with Chriselliam. When they brought Lasix back in 2014, the American-based Lady Eli won.

If Main Sequence, who towers over the United Nations field, wins on Sunday, this will only give more weight to the idea that Lasix helps him and that Lasix can improve form. Whether Lasix should be used in the States is a debate that will go on forever. The beginning handicapper only needs to pay attention to Lasix patterns when handicapping the important turf stakes races. In the future, maybe other Europeans with superb turf form will come here without Lasix. In those cases, think twice before unloading the bank account.

United Nations Stakes 2015 Post Positions & Odds
Race 11 5:46 PM ET
1 Twilight Eclipse 9-2 Lopez/Albertrani
2 Sycamore Lane 15-1 Lezcano/Mott
3 Big Blue Kitten 7-2 Bravo/Brown
4 Shining Copper 30-1 Castellano, Jr./Maker
5 Slumber 5-1 Ortiz, Jr./Brown
6 Main Sequence 5-2 Maragh/Motion
7 Imagining 6-1 Velazquez/McGaughey III
8 Ashleyluvssugar 5-1 Stevens/Eurton
9 Divine Oath 15-1 Trujillo/Pletcher