The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Sept. 20 that Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., has earned re-accreditation from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance. The re-accreditation followed a complete review of all racing operations at the facility during its current live meeting. Turfway Park received its initial Alliance accreditation in September 2009. All accreditations and re-accreditations carry an effective period of two years.
Turfway Park is the 10th Alliance-accredited racetrack to earn re-accreditation. Keeneland received re-accreditation from the Alliance in April; Churchill Downs and Pimlico Race Course each earned re-accreditation in June; Arlington Park, Hollywood Park, and Belmont Park each earned re-accreditation in July; and Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Saratoga Race Course, and Calder Casino and Race Course were re-accredited earlier this month.
The re-accreditation of Turfway Park was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track’s completion of a 48-page written application and continued as Turfway 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. Such 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 veterinarian Ron Jensen; Mike Kilpack of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators; racing official Richard Lewis; and Mike Ziegler, executive director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.
During the latest Alliance inspection of Turfway Park, best practices were identified in areas including pre-race veterinary examinations; post-mortem examination policy; veterinarian’s list protocols; use and regulation of cushioned riding crops; substance abuse program for licensees; incorporation of the uniform national trainers test by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission; catastrophic injury planning and procedures; infectious disease management protocols; regulation of and testing for alkalinizing substances; track security standard operating procedures; establishment of a program for the aftercare and transitioning of retired racehorses; and wagering integrity standards, including equipment testing, elimination of cancel delays, and wagering incident investigation protocols and procedures.
“Turfway Park has been one of the proudest, most vocal supporters of the Alliance since the beginning, and this re-accreditation report is a clear example of Turfway’s unwavering commitment,” said Ziegler in a statement. “We also wish to salute the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for its outstanding cooperation in helping so many of the Alliance’s goals and objectives come to fruition within its borders.”
"I'm extremely proud that our diligence and our efforts to continually upgrade our policies in all areas have led to reaccreditation by the Alliance,” added Robert Elliston, president and CEO of Turfway Park, in a release. “Integrity has to be at the core of racing from every perspective, and the safety of the horses and all humans involved in racing, from the veteran trainer to the newest hotwalker, is paramount. We are glad to take on the challenge of meeting or exceeding the Alliance’s Code of Standards every time the bar is raised."
Turfway Park is one of 19 racing facilities to receive full accreditation. Others are Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Arlington Park, Hollywood Park, Monmouth Park, Saratoga, Calder, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Oak Tree at Santa Anita/Santa Anita Park, Fair Grounds, Aqueduct, Pimlico, Golden Gate Fields, Woodbine, Canterbury Park, Sunland Park, and Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack.