(Edited press release)
Officials at Keeneland and Turfway Park announced July 17 a new shoe policy banning the use of toe grabs. The policy is effective at both racetracks beginning Sept. 1.
Rogers Beasley, Keeneland’s director of racing, and Bob Elliston, president of Turfway Park, said in a joint statement: “We applaud the efforts of the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee, TOBA’s Thoroughbred Action Committee, and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to address safety in racing. Their unanimous support for a ban on the use of toe grabs is a significant step toward improving the welfare of horses.”
The policy, which will apply to all horses training and racing on Keeneland’s Polytrack and turf course, as well as Turfway’s Polytrack, states, “No toe grabs, caulks, stickers, inserts, blocks, turndowns, trailers, or heel extensions will be allowed on front or hind shoes. Only flat, Queen’s Plate, Queen’s Plate XT, or equivalent may be used on the Polytrack or turf.”