The New York Racing Association (NYRA), in consultation with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA), announced Jan. 16 additional steps to further enhance safety protocols for Thoroughbred racing already in place at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The additional protocols come in the wake of a recent rash of catastrophic breakdowns at the Queens racetrack and follow a Jan. 10 meeting between horsemen and track management to proactively address the situation.

"The safety of our equine athletes and jockeys at Aqueduct Racetrack is a high priority," stated Christopher Kay, chief executive officer and president. "In that spirit, the New York Racing Association continues to work together with the NYTHA leadership and the New York State Gaming Commission in these important endeavors."

NYRA will implement the following protocols:

  • Effective Jan. 16, the NYRA steward will keep a "poor performance" list. Horses will be placed on this list after performing in a race at Aqueduct and losing by a margin of 25 lengths or greater. Once on the poor performance list, said horse must complete a half-mile workout in 53 seconds or less to be permitted to enter in a future race. This list will be available to the public on NYRA.com.
  • Effective Jan. 22, NYRA will reduce weekday race cards (Wednesdays through Fridays) to eight races. First scheduled post time will be moved from 12:20 p.m. Eastern time to 1:20 p.m. on weekdays, and 12:45 p.m. on weekends.
  • Effective Jan. 22, the bottom level for maiden claimers will be raised from maiden $12,500 to maiden $16,000.
  • Effective for entri