NYRA Bans Toe Grabs Effective Oct. 29

from the New York Racing Association

Following the recommendation of The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee, toe grabs with a height greater than two millimeters (.07874 inches) on front horseshoes will be banned from all horses racing at Saratoga, Belmont Park, and Aqueduct effective Oct. 29, opening day of the Aqueduct fall meet.

The Thoroughbred Safety Committee announced its recommendation to ban all toe grabs other than two-millimeter wear plates June 17.

The American Graded Stakes Committee, administered by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, already announced that graded stakes run at racetracks that haven't implemented The Jockey Club limitations on toe-grab horseshoes would lose their graded status effective Jan. 1, 2009, or the date of the track’s first graded stakes. Both organizations cited research noting a greater risk of catastrophic injury to horses wearing front toe grabs than horses wearing shoes without toe grabs.

The NYRA ruling also eliminates bends, jar caulks, stickers, or any other traction device on front hooves.