The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., near Cincinnati, has earned reaccreditation from the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.
Saturday marks the 45th running of Turfway’s signature event, the $500,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (G3), an important final prep race for 3-year-olds pointing to the Kentucky Derby. The Spiral highlights a 12-race card with three 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 Jennifer Durenberger, DVM, veterinary and regulatory consultant with past experience as a state veterinarian, track veterinarian, steward and regulator; Jim Gates, racetrack operations consultant and former general manager of Churchill Downs; Mike Kilpack, security and integrity consultant and past chairman of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators; and Steve Koch, executive director of the NTRA Safety & 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 and training environment; aftercare of retired racehorses; uniform medication and testing; jockey health and welfare; and wagering security.
“We are proud to have been accredited by the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance at its inception and equally proud to have stepped up as the bar has been raised for reaccreditation,” said Turfway Park General Manager Daniel “Chip” Bach. “The safety of the horses who race at Turfway and the horsemen and riders who bring their business here is paramount to us. Protecting the wagering public who also do business with us is equally important. Racing thrives when standards are high, and we fully support the Alliance’s efforts to foster those standards industry-wide.”
Turfway received its initial accreditation in 2009, the Alliance’s first year. All accreditations and reaccreditations carry an effective period of two years.
“We commend Turfway Park for their consistently high standards for safety and integrity initiatives,” said the NTRA’s Koch. “Chip’s team exhibits true passion for a job done right and they are dogged in their pursuit of industry Best Practice standards. Turfway Park sets a wonderful example of a hard-working racetrack getting it right.”
Turfway 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, 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 Lockton Insurance and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at NTRAalliance.com.