The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) sent a letter to pari-mutuel regulators earlier this week urging them to adopt uniform national reforms addressing much-needed changes to medication regulation, enforcement and laboratory testing. The letter was co-signed by more than 50 racetracks and industry organizations.

The letter specified several uniform national reforms including the adoption of recently developed model medication guidelines, inclusion in a multiple violator penalty system and participation in laboratory accreditation and quality assurance programs.

The reforms have been extensively researched and developed by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), the industry’s scientific advisory organization consisting of 25 major racing industry stakeholder organizations and the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI), the industry’s association of state regulatory bodies responsible for the integrity of racing.  RCI voted to incorporate the reforms into their official Model Rules earlier this year. Individual regulatory bodies must now move to adopt the reforms in each racing jurisdiction.

The letter included 60 pages of exhibits detailing the rules that need to be adopted.  The full text of the cover letter is now available to media (attached) and the letter and exhibits are accessible online at /feeds/testingrules.html.

Earlier this year, eight states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast jointly agreed to implement the reforms on January 1, 2014, or when a participating state’s live racing begins in 2014. The states committed to implementing the reforms are Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Several other states are in the process of adopting these reforms as well.

“Nationwide adoption of these reforms is essential to safeguarding horses and riders and providing uniformity to fans and participants alike. If you have not done so already, we urge you to commit to the reforms and move expeditiously to adopt all aspects of the reforms,” wrote Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the NTRA and newly elected Chairman of the RMTC.

Commissioners were told to expect direct contact from industry representatives to determine their commitment to the Reforms and timeline for adoption. They were also advised to contact the RMTC for any scientific expertise or documentation needed to support the Reforms.

Signatories to the letter (listed alphabetically) were:

  • American Association of Equine Practitioners
  • American Quarter Horse Association
  • Arabian Jockey Club
  • Association of Racing Commissioners International
  • Betfair Hollywood Park
  • Breeders’ Cup Limited
  • Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
  • Global Gaming Solutions
    • Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
    • Remington Park
  • Keeneland Association
  • Kentucky Thoroughbred Association
  • Monmouth Park
  • National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA)
  • NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance
  • New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.
  • Oak Tree Racing Association
  • Penn National Gaming
    • Hollywood Casino, Hotel and Raceway (Bangor, ME)
    • Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
    • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
    • Raceway Park
    • Beulah Park
    • Rosecroft Raceway
    • Sam Houston Race Park
    • Freehold Raceway
    • Zia Park Racetrack and Casino
  • Racing Medication and Testing Consortium
  • Suffolk Downs
  • Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
  • The Jockey Club
  • The Jockeys’ Guild
  • The New York Racing Association, Inc.
    • Aqueduct
    • Belmont Park
    • Saratoga Race Course
  • The Stronach Group
    • AmTote
    • HRTV
    • Golden Gate Fields
    • Gulfstream Park & Casino
    • Laurel Park
    • Pimlico Race Course
    • Portland Meadows
    • Santa Anita Park
    • XpressBet
  • Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (THA)
    • Delaware THA
    • Illinois THA
    • Maryland THA
    • New Jersey THA
    • New York THA
    • Pennsylvania THA
  • Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
  • Thoroughbred Owners of California
  • Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America, Inc.

About the NTRA

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of more than 80 horse racing interests consisting of leading Thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers, horseplayers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (