The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Keeneland, the world-class racetrack in Lexington, Ky., has earned reaccreditation from the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.
Keeneland, which also includes the world's leading Thoroughbred auction house, is a National Historic Landmark and has served as a model for the best in Thoroughbred racing since its inception in 1936. The 17-day 2017 Fall Meet kicks off Friday and continues Wednesdays to Sundays through Oct. 28. Fall Stars Weekend, this Friday to Sunday, features key prep races for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, and the entire Fall Meet features 17 stakes worth $5.325 million.
The reaccreditation of Keeneland was the culmination of a lengthy process that began with the track's completion of an extensive written application and continued as the track hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. An on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing operations. Interviews were conducted with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, veterinarians, stewards and regulators.
The inspection team was comprised of Jim Cain, security and integrity consultant, former Chief of Enforcement for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission; Ron Jensen, DVM, veterinary and regulatory consultant, former equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board; Jim Gates, racetrack operations consultant, former general manager of Churchill Downs; and Steve Koch, executive director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.
Alliance certification standards address an extensive list of safety and integrity concerns within six broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; uniform medication and testing; jockey health and welfare; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; and wagering security.
"Keeneland is proud to earn reaccreditation from the Alliance, which underscores our commitment to pursuing the highest standards of safety and integrity in racing," Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. "We support the NTRA's efforts and fully recognize the importance of this accreditation at racetracks throughout North America."
Keeneland is one of 23 racing facilities fully accredited by the Alliance that together host 90 percent of graded stakes and generate 75 percent of North American pari-mutuel handle. The others are Aqueduct Racetrack, Arlington Race Course, Belmont Park, Canterbury Park, Churchill Downs, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Indiana Grand, Kentucky Downs, Laurel Park, Los Alamitos Race Course, Monmouth Park, Pimlico Race Course, Santa Anita Park, Saratoga Race Course, Suffolk Downs, Sunland Park, Turfway Park and Woodbine.
The NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance is a standing organization whose purpose is to establish standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Corporate partners of the Alliance include Lockton Insurance and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at NTRAalliance.com.