The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced that Baltimore, Maryland’s historic Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness Stakes, has earned NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance reaccreditation.
America’s second-oldest racetrack, established in 1870, opened its 12-date spring meet last week and will host the 143rd running of the Preakness, middle jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, on Saturday. Racing continues Thursdays to Sundays (except this Sunday, the day after the Preakness) with a special closing day program on Memorial Day, May 28.
Pimlico’s reaccreditation was the culmination of a lengthy process that began with the track completing 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 and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, veterinarians, stewards, and regulators.
Jim Gates (racetrack operations consultant), former general manager of Churchill Downs; Mike Kilpack (security and integrity consultant), past chairman of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators; Steve Koch, executive director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance; and Greg Taylor, DVM (veterinary and regulatory consultant), longtime Ontario Racing Commission veterinarian, association vet at Woodbine, and member of the Breeders’ Cup veterinary pane, made up the inspection team.
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.
“We’re extremely proud to once again earn reaccreditation from the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance,” said Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra. “We must always be proactive in protecting our equine and human athletes and having a safe environment for them from the moment they step off a van at one of our facilities. We would like to thank the inspectors and officials of the NTRA for their time and all the effort put into the reaccreditation process.”
Pimlico is one of 23 racing facilities fully accredited by the Alliance that together host 96% of Grade 1 stakes and generate more than 75% of North American pari-mutuel handle. The other accredited racetracks 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, Santa Anita Park, Saratoga Race Course, Suffolk Downs, Sunland Park, Turfway Park, and Woodbine.