Safety Alliance Monitor Seeks Public Comment

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance is seeking public comment on its activities in advance of the release of an annual report in late December.

Tommy Thompson, a former federal and state official who serves as independent monitor for the alliance, is preparing the year-end report. The alliance was formed in the fall of 2008, and this year it began accrediting racetracks under its code of standards.

The alliance was formed to establish standards and practices that promote safety and integrity in horse racing, and to work toward their implementation.

The NTRA in a Nov. 25 release said Thompson has set up an e-mail address ( at which the public can comment "on any aspect of the alliance." Comments must be submitted by Dec. 1.

The alliance will figure prominently during the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing & Gaming Dec. 8-10. According to a schedule, the alliance will be discussed on three occasions; Thompson, former governor of Wisconsin and secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, will address attendees during one presentation.

So far, 12 racetracks have been fully accredited, and one provisionally accredited. Others have applied to submit to the review process.

In an earlier statement, Thompson said the "ultimate goal of this project is to provide an independent examination of the alliance and to report to the public at large whether, in fact, progress is being made."

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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