LEXINGTON, Ky. (Thursday, March 26, 2015) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino has earned reaccreditation from the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance. Located in Hallandale Beach, Fla., between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the 76-year-old track is in the final days of its Championship Meet, which closes Sunday and is highlighted by Florida Derby Day on Saturday, with seven graded stakes topped by the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby.
Gulfstream Park received its initial Alliance accreditation in 2012. All accreditations and reaccreditations carry an effective period of two years.
“We are pleased to have once again earned high marks in a variety of areas during the Alliance’s accreditation,” said Gulfstream Park General Manager P.J. Campo. “We will always make the safety of our athletes a priority and maintain our facility with the best and safest products.”
Gulfstream Park is owned by The Stronach Group, one of the world’s leading racetrack operators.
“There are many areas where Gulfstream Park is an exemplary example for other tracks, most notably in the critical realm of Thoroughbred aftercare,” said Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the NTRA and acting head of the Alliance. “The Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred Aftercare Program is well-funded by both the track and its horsemen.”
In areas intended to create a safer racing environment, best practices in use at Gulfstream Park included an on-site substance abuse and addiction treatment program and adequate funding of industry safety research.
In the category of injury and fatality reporting and prevention, best practices cited included full reporting of injuries and fatalities, post-race inspections performed on ever horse by official veterinarians and maintenance of an official Veterinarians’ List of horses unfit to compete.
Regarding the health and safety of jockeys, best practices recognized included the retaining of a minimum $1 million-worth of accident medical expense coverage per incident for all jockeys, adequate funding of jockey disability support programs such as the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and participation in the Jockey Injury Database.
Relating to aftercare and transition of retired racehorses, best practices include a funding mechanism in place for support of aftercare and relationships with organizations that care for horses. The review noted that the “Gulfstream Park Aftercare Program is one of the best-funded programs in Thoroughbred racing.”
Gulfstream Park also was commended for best practices in protocols relating to wagering security, specifically wagering incident prevention and investigation protocols.
The reaccreditation of Gulfstream Park was the culmination of a lengthy process that began with the track’s completion of a 48-page written application and continued as Gulfstream hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. An on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility. Interviews were also conducted with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, and fans. The inspection team was comprised of Dr. Ron Jensen, DVM, former equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board; Mike Kilpack, security and integrity consultant and past chairman of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators;Richard Lewis, former trainer and Northern California racing executive; and Mike Ziegler, former executive director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.
Gulfstream Park is one of 23 racing facilities currently fully accredited by the Alliance. The others are Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, Calder Casino and Race Course, Canterbury Park, Churchill Downs, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack, Golden Gate Fields, 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 Pfizer Animal Health and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at www.NTRAalliance.com.
About the NTRA
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, NTRA.com, the Eclipse Awards, the National Handicapping Championship, NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program, and HORSE PAC, a federal political action committee. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on NTRA.com, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (facebook.com/1NTRA).