(Edited National Thoroughbred Racing Association press release)
A percentage of any purse monies earned by West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 5 at Saratoga; and Awesome Gem in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Sept. 6 at Del Mar will be donated to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance. The dates September 5-7 have been designated as national fundraising days in support of the alliance, which was formed last October with the goal of establishing national uniform standards in the areas of safety and integrity. It includes 55 racetracks in North America and every major national horsemen’s organization.
“West Point Thoroughbreds is proud to support the important work of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, and I encourage other horsemen to do the same,” said Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds. “We are delighted to be part of a couple of the immensely exciting races taking place this weekend, but amid all that excitement, we must remember that the safety of our industry’s human and equine athletes is of paramount importance, and that’s why we feel so strongly about the NTRA Alliance’s objectives.”
The three fundraising days are designed to broaden awareness of, and generate support for, such Alliance initiatives as injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; uniform medication, testing and penalties; and safety research. During the weekend, the Alliance will be seeking contributions and pledges from a broad spectrum of industry participants, including racetracks, owners, trainers, jockeys and fans.
“We are grateful for this wonderful gesture by West Point Thoroughbreds, and the support of racetracks throughout North America,” said Mike Ziegler, executive director of the alliance. “The financial support generated this coming weekend will be dedicated solely to the goal of making Thoroughbred racing a better, safer sport for all its participants.”
Nine racing facilities have taken part to date in the alliance’s racetrack accreditation process, with eight tracks earning full accreditation and one receiving provisional accreditation. Churchill Downs and Keeneland were fully accredited in April; Belmont Park received accreditation in May; Delaware Park and Hollywood Park were accredited in June; Monmouth Park was accredited in July; and Arlington Park and Saratoga Race Course received full accreditation last month. Pimlico Race Course was granted provisional accreditation in May.
The NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance initially focuses on human and equine safety, but will be expanded to cover additional areas, including wagering security. Information on the alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at www.NTRAalliance.com.
Tommy G. Thompson, former four-term Governor of Wisconsin and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, serves as the independent monitor of the Alliance.