The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Golden Gate Fields, the historic Bay Area racetrack celebrating 75 years of racing in 2016, has earned reaccreditation from the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.
Located in Berkeley, Calif., along the San Francisco Bay, the only major racetrack in Northern California opens its 32-day Fall Meet this Thursday, with live racing four days per week through Dec. 11. The Winter/Spring Meet will commence just over two weeks later, on Dec. 26.
The reaccreditation of Golden Gate Fields – owned and operated by The Stronach Group – 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 Gates, racetrack operations consultant, former general manager of Churchill Downs; Ron Jensen, DVM, veterinary and regulatory consultant, former equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board; Mike Kilpack, security and integrity consultant, past chairman of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators; 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.
“Golden Gate Fields has been a proud member of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance since receiving its first NTRA accreditation in 2010,” said Calvin J. Rainey, track vice president and general manager. “Golden Gate Fields continues to work with the NTRA to maintain the highest level of safety and integrity standards in the thoroughbred horse racing industry.”
Golden Gate Fields is one of 23 racing facilities fully accredited by the Alliance that together host 90 percent of graded stakes and generate 74 percent of North American pari-mutuel handle. The others are Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, Canterbury Park, Churchill Downs, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, Gulfstream Park, Indiana Grand, Keeneland, 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.