The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Oct. 30 that the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, host site for Friday and Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships, has earned reaccreditation from the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.
Del Mar’s 2017 Bing Crosby Meet opens Nov. 1 and continues through Nov. 26. It is highlighted by the 34th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, a two-day global event consisting of 13 Grade 1 Thoroughbred races with purses and awards totaling more than $28 million.
Del Mar’s reaccreditation was the culmination of a 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 included racetrack operations consultant Jim Gates, the former general manager of Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky; veterinary and regulatory consultant Ron Jensen, DVM, the former equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board; security and integrity consultant Mike Kilpack, past-chairman of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators; Steve Koch, NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance executive director; and veterinary and regulatory consultant Greg Taylor, DVM, official veterinarian at Woodbine, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Alliance certification standards address a list of safety and integrity concerns within six broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; uniform medication and testing; jockey health and welfare; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; and wagering security.
“Safety is the most important thing we do at Del Mar,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club President and CEO Joe Harper. “Making sure our horses and riders are in a safe and secure environment to compete is paramount to us—and a priority for all in this business. We’re proud and delighted to be recognized again by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance for our hard work and extensive efforts in that regard.”
Del Mar is one of 23 racing facilities fully accredited by the Alliance that together host 90% of graded stakes and generate 75% of North American pari-mutuel handle. The others are Aqueduct Racetrack, Arlington Park, Belmont Park, Canterbury Park, Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Finger Lakes Gaming and 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, Turfway Park, and Woodbine.