Saratoga Fully Accredited by Safety Alliance

New York Racing Association-operated Saratoga has been fully accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, officials announced Aug. 21.

Saratoga, host of the grade I Travers Stakes Aug. 29, was inspected by alliance officials Aug. 5-7 during live racing programs. It is the eighth racetrack to receive full alliance accreditation.

"(Saratoga) exceeded prescribed benchmarks on many fronts, with industry-wide best practices established in the areas of security planning, aftercare and transitioning of retired racehorses, and the recording of post-race jockey weights," alliance executive director Mike Ziegler said in a statement.

Members of the inspection team were Ronald Jensen, DVM, racing industry executive Dan Fick, and Ziegler. The alliance's independent monitor, former Wisconsin governor and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, observed the on-site review.

"We are proud to know that Saratoga Race Course, like Belmont Park, meets and often exceeds the exacting standards called for by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance," NYRA president and chief executive officer Charles Hayward said. "Our next goal is to achieve a similar finding when Aqueduct Racetrack is inspected later in the year."

Aqueduct opens again for live racing in late October. Alliance officials said they prefer to perform on-site inspections during live meets.

Other fully accredited tracks are Arlington Park, Belmont, Churchill Downs, Delaware Park, Hollywood Park, Keeneland, and Monmouth Park. Pimlico Race Course received provisional accreditation and remains under review; officials in May said there are no safety issues with the facility.

(This article first appeared on

About the Author

Tom LaMarra

Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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