Arlington Re-Accredited on Safety, Integrity

Arlington Re-Accredited on Safety, Integrity
Photo: Four Footed Fotos
Arlington Park

Arlington Park has become the fourth racetrack to earn re-accreditation from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Safety and Integrity Alliance. The re-accreditation followed a complete review of all racing operations at the Arlington Heights, Ill., facility. Arlington received its initial Alliance accreditation in August 2009. All accreditations and re-accreditations carry an effective period of two years.

Keeneland Race Course received re-accreditation from the Alliance in April of this year, and Churchill Downs and Pimlico Race Course each earned re-accreditation last month.

Under the accreditation process, Arlington Park completed a 48-page written application and hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, with special attention paid to areas that were newly added to the Alliance’s Code of Standards in 2010 and 2011, according to an announcement from the Safety and Integrity Alliance.

Among the certification areas containing new or more stringent requirements include wagering security, injury reporting, post-mortem veterinary inspections, jockey health and safety, paddock safety, aftercare/transitioning of retired racehorses and cross-jurisdictional sharing of vet’s list data. Interviews were also conducted with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards and fans.

The inspection team was comprised of Dr. Jennifer Durenberger; Mike Kilpack of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators; racing official Richard Lewis; and Mike Ziegler, executive eirector of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. Tommy Thompson, independent monitor of the Safety & Integrity Alliance, was an observer at the inspection.

During the latest Alliance inspection of Arlington, best practices were identified in areas including use and inspection of cushioned riding crops and safety vests; padded starting gate; safety research; catastrophic injury planning and procedures; fire safety; paddock safety protocols and procedures; anabolic steroid and out-of-competition testing; security assessment and training; jockey health information; ambulance/medical support; jockey disability support; substance abuse/addiction program; aftercare and transitioning of retired racehorses; and wagering security, including stop-wagering protocols.

“Arlington Park received exemplary ratings in a great many categories,” Ziegler said in a statement. “It is clear that Arlington has devoted significant resources to safety and integrity, and that it has built solidly upon its initial accreditation in 2009.”

“Safety is of paramount importance to everyone here at Arlington Park, and we are proud to be recognized for several industry-wide best practices,” said Tony Petrillo, general manager of Arlington Park.

Arlington is one of 20 racing facilities to receive full accreditation. Others are Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Belmont Park, Delaware Park, Hollywood Park, Monmouth Park, Saratoga Race Course, Calder Race Course, Turfway Park, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Oak Tree at Santa Anita/Santa Anita Park, Fair Grounds, Aqueduct Racetrack, Pimlico Race Course, Golden Gate Fields, Woodbine, Canterbury Park, Sunland Park and, most recently, Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack.

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