Santa Anita Park in California has been fully accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility, officials said Oct. 28.
Santa Anita was first accredited in 2009 but under the alliance code of conduct, racetracks must be re-accredited every two years.
An on-site review of the racing facility and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, and fans was conducted by Dr. Celeste Kunz, racetrack executive Jim Gates; Mike Kilpack of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators, and Mike Ziegler, executive director of the alliance.
The inspection was performed Oct. 20-21.
Ziegler said Santa Anita received “best practice” ratings in numerous areas including injury reporting and prevention; post-race veterinary examinations; post-mortem veterinary examinations; use of cushioned riding crop; equine ambulance protocols; safety research; catastrophic injury planning and procedures; testing for alkalinizing substances and anabolic steroids; out-of-competition testing; frozen-sample testing; laboratory quality assurance program; and wagering security protocols and procedures.”
“We are proud of this accreditation and of the many high marks our facility received during the alliance inspection process,” Santa Anita president George Haines said. “The safety of our athletes and the integrity of our product are essential components of everything we do here at Santa Anita.”
Santa Anita is the 22nd racing facility to be accredited or re-accredited. Others are Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Belmont Park, Delaware Park, Hollywood Park, Monmouth Park, Arlington Park, Saratoga, Calder Casino & Race Course, Turfway Park, Del Mar, Oak Tree Racing Association at Santa Anita, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Aqueduct, Golden Gate Fields, Woodbine, Pimlico Race Course, Canterbury Park, Sunland Park, Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack, and Suffolk Downs.