The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, has earned reaccreditation from the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.
Saturday marks the 47th running of Turfway’s signature event, the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), an important prep race for 3-year-olds pointing to the Kentucky Derby. The Jeff Ruby Steaks highlights a 12-race card with five stakes, also including the $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (G3) for Kentucky Oaks hopefuls. First post is 1:10 p.m. EDT.
The reaccreditation of Turfway 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 Cain (security and integrity consultant), former Chief of Enforcement for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission; Steve Koch, executive director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance; Cathy O’Meara (racing operations consultant), coordinator of the Racing Officials Accreditation Program; and Dr. Greg Taylor (veterinary and regulatory consultant), retired 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; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; uniform medication and testing; jockey health and welfare; and wagering security.
“Turfway’s reaccreditation reflects the commitment we have to the safety of our human and equine participants,” said Turfway Park General Manager Daniel “Chip” Bach. “We understand we must make every effort to maintain the confidence of the wagering public. The reaccreditation process evaluates our processes and provides ‘best practices’ from other racing concerns to promote uniformity as we strive to maintain the highest standards possible.”
Bach thanked Koch and the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance inspection team, as well as Turfway Park Security and Safety Manager Austin Kresser, for assuring Turfway’s compliance with Alliance standards.
Turfway received its initial accreditation in 2009, the Alliance’s first year. All accreditations and reaccreditations carry an effective period of two years.
Turfway 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, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, 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, and Woodbine.
The NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance is a standing organization establishing standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Corporate partners of the Alliance include Insurance Office of America and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at NTRAalliance.com.