The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, host site for Friday and Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships, has earned reaccreditation from the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.
Del Mar is a world-class Thoroughbred racing destination welcoming the sport’s top athletes and California’s most spirited partygoers during its summer and fall seasons. The 2017 Bing Crosby Meet opens Wednesday and continues through Nov. 26, highlighted by the 34th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious two-day global event, consisting of 13 Grade 1 races with purses and awards totaling more than $28 million.
The reaccreditation of Del Mar 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; Steve Koch, executive director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance; and Greg Taylor (veterinary and regulatory consultant), official veterinarian at Woodbine.
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.
“Safety is the most important thing we do at Del Mar,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club President and CEO Joe Harper. “Making sure our horses and riders are in a safe and secure environment to compete is paramount to us – and a priority for all in this business. We’re proud and delighted to be recognized again by the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance for our hard work and extensive efforts in that regard.”
Del Mar 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 Park, Belmont Park, Canterbury Park, Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Indiana Grand, Kentucky Downs, Keeneland, 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.