Hollywood Park, whose future is in serious doubt after 2009, has received full accreditation from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance.
Hollywood Park in Southern California underwent an on-site review May 20-21, alliance officials said. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, regulators, and fans.
The inspection team led by NTRA president and chief executive officer Alex Waldrop included Dr. Celeste Kunz and Dan Fick, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club. Alliance executive director Mike Ziegler observed the review.
“Having participated in the review process for the first time as an inspector, I was highly impressed by the tremendous onsite effort required by a racetrack in order to conform to the alliance code of standards,” Waldrop said June 26 in a statement. “The state of California also deserves high praise for its aggressive medication and testing policies and mandatory necropsy program.”
“The safety of our athletes—both equine and human—is of the utmost importance to everyone at Hollywood Park,” track president Jack Liebau said. “We take great pride in providing the safest conditions possible, which has been illustrated by the inspection process. Hollywood Park not only meets the standards of the alliance, it exceeds them in many categories.”
The alliance said noteworthy findings at Hollywood Park included best practices in areas including equine ambulance services and equipment; participation in a groundbreaking training injury study coordinated by Drs. Jeff Blea and Wayne McIlwraith; and participation in track surface studies coordinated by Dr. Mick Peterson.
Thus far, five tracks have been alliance-accredited: Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Delaware Park, Hollywood Park, and Keeneland. Pimlico Race Course was granted provisional accreditation.
Hollywood Park is in line for a major redevelopment project. Whether it requests racing dates for 2010 remains to be seen.