LEXINGTON, Ky. (Friday, October 2, 2015) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Keeneland Race Course 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 of the best in Thoroughbred racing since its inception in 1936. The 20-day 2015 Fall Meet kicks off today and continues through the track’s initial hosting of the two-day, $24.5 million Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Oct. 30-31.
The reaccreditation of Keeneland was the culmination of a lengthy process that began with the track’s completion of a 48-page 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 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; Steve Koch, executive director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance; and Richard Lewis, former trainer, Northern California racing executive and California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) safety steward.
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; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; uniform medication, testing and penalties; safety research; and wagering security.
“This most recent inspection confirms once again that Keeneland is the industry standard-bearer in safety and integrity,” said Koch. “They represent a commitment to excellence that all should aspire to.”
Keeneland received its initial Alliance accreditation in April 2009. All accreditations and re-accreditations carry an effective period of two years.
“We at Keeneland are very pleased to have earned re-accreditation from the Alliance,” said Bill Thomason, President and CEO of Keeneland Association. “Keeneland strongly supports the NTRA’s safety and integrity initiatives, and we are proud of our longtime commitment to maintaining the highest standards throughout our racing operations.”
Keeneland is one of 23 racing facilities fully accredited by the Alliance that together host 94 percent of Grade I stakes and attract more than 70 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, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream Park West, 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.
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).