Kentucky Downs Racing

Kentucky Downs Racing

Kentucky Downs/Dr Bill Kenner

KY Downs Re-accredited by Safety Alliance

Track first accredited by Safety and Integrity Alliance in 2011.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Safety and Integrity Alliance announced that Kentucky Downs has been re-accredited following a complete review of all racing operations at the Franklin, Ky., facility.

Kentucky Downs, which completed a record five-day meet Sept. 25, received its initial Alliance accreditation in 2011. All accreditations and re-accreditations carry an effective period of two years.

During the latest Alliance inspection, best practices were identified at Kentucky Downs in virtually every primary area of focus for the Alliance, according to Safety and Alliance executive director Mike Ziegler.

"Kentucky Downs received exemplary marks upon the track's first review in 2011 and has successfully maintained very high standards since then," Ziegler said in a release.

The alliance release said best practices identified included pre-race veterinary examinations, post-mortem veterinary examinations, starting gate padding, protocols for gate manning and removal, regulatory veterinary practices and procedures, jockey disability support, exogenous anabolic steroids regulation, and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium accreditation of the track's official testing laboratory, HFL Sports Science in Lexington.

"Earning our re-accreditation is the perfect cap to an outstanding season," track president Corey Johnsen said in a statement. "The safety of our racing participants drives virtually every decision we make at Kentucky Downs. We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on turf course maintenance and other improvements. This re-accreditation affirms that the resources we invested will protect the well-being of human and equine athletes." 

The re-accreditation of Kentucky Downs was the culmination of a lengthy process that began with the track's completion of a 48-page written application and continued through 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 2012 and 2013.

The inspection team was comprised of Dr. Ron Jensen, former equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board; Jim Gates, consultant and former general manager of Churchill Downs; Mike Kilpack, security and integrity consultant and past chairman of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators; and Ziegler.

Kentucky Downs is one of 24 racing facilities currently fully accredited by the Alliance.