Gulfstream Park to Begin Breathlyzer Testing

Tests will be given to jockeys, stewards, assistant starters and gate crew members.

Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino announced Dec. 27 it will give random breathalyzer tests to jockeys, stewards, assistant starters and members of the gate crew when its meet begins Jan. 5.

According to a statement from Gulfstream, the Hallandale, Florida, track will implement the program to insure the integrity of the sport and protect its participants.

“Safety and integrity have always been priorities at Gulfstream Park,” Timothy Ritvo, vice president of racing, MI Developments Inc., said in a statement. “We want to minimize the safety risks, the injuries and accidents associated with the inappropriate use of alcohol and insure the professionalism of the sport of Thoroughbred racing.”

Ritvo said any jockey who registers a 0.04 or greater will be taken off his mounts for the remainder of the day.

Members of the gate crew, outriders or stewards who blow a 0.04 or greater will be sent home for the day. Any person refusing to take the random test will also be sent home. Each incident will be handled privately by track management.

“This program will also create an environment here at Gulfstream that will allow us to assist those with issues pertaining to alcohol,” Ritvo said. “We’ve talked to jockeys, horsemen and track officials and everyone is supportive. It’s simply the right thing to do.”

Earlier this year, the New York Racing Association instituted random daily alcohol tests on some licensed personnel, including jockeys.