The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Oct. 10 that Keeneland Race Course, in Lexington, Kentucky, has earned reaccreditation from the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.
Keeneland, established in 1936, is a National Historic Landmark. 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.
Keeneland’s reaccreditation was the culmination of a lengthy process that began with the track’s completion of a 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 included Jim Cain, security and integrity consultant and former chief of enforcement for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission; Ron Jensen, DVM, veterinary and regulatory consultant and former equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board; Jim Gates, racetrack operations consultant and former general manager of Churchill Downs; and Steve Koch, executive director of the NTRA Safety and 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 alliance-accredited racing facilities that together host 90% of graded stakes and generate 75% 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 and 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 and Integrity Alliance is a standing organization formed to to establish standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Alliance corporate partners include Lockton Insurance and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Information on the alliance, including its Code of Standards, can be found at NTRAalliance.com.