The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety and Integrity Alliance has re-accredited Laurel Park for two years.

Located in Laurel, Maryland, southwest of Baltimore, the 103-year-old racetrack received its initial alliance accreditation in 2013 and is conducting its fall meet, which concludes Dec. 31.

"Laurel Park is proud of our accreditation by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance," said Sal Sinatra, newly appointed vice president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC), which operates Laurel; Pimlico Race Course, in Baltimore; and the Bowie Training Center, in Bowie. "The team here worked very hard with the Maryland Racing Commission and our horsemen to improve standards at all of our facilities and we will strive to do even more in the future."

In areas intended to create a safer racing environment, best practices cited at Laurel include mandatory use of safety helmets by all personnel on horseback, as well as assistant starters; catastrophic injury planning and procedures; mandatory presence and dedicated staffing of an equine ambulance during training and racing; the Maryland substance abuse and addiction treatment program; plans and protocols for infectious disease management; and the presence of practicing veterinarians any time the track surfaces are open for use.

In the area of equine drug testing and penalties, best practices identified include shock wave therapy regulation and Racing Medication Testing Consortium (RMTC) accreditation of the track’s official testing laboratory: Truesdail Laboratories in Tustin, California. The MJC also received special commendation for being