Pimlico Receives Full Accreditation After Follow-Up Review By NTRA Safety And Integrity Alliance Inspection Team

BALTIMORE, MD  05-10-2010


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all areas that caused Pimlico to receive provisional accreditation from Alliance inspectors last year.

At the time of the provisional accreditation last May, Pimlico was notified by Alliance officials of six areas deemed deficient. These six areas have since been addressed as follows:

1.) Riding Crop – The Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) petitioned the Maryland Racing Commission to adopt a
     rule requiring the use of an approved, cushioned crop in every race. This has successfully been

2.) Model Rules and Penalties – The MJC petitioned the Maryland Racing Commission to amend its
     regulations to conform with the RCI Model Rules regarding a pre-race sampling protocol for
     alkalinizing substances. This has successfully been implemented since the beginning of the
     current Pimlico Meet.

3.) Out-of-Competition Testing - The MJC petitioned the Maryland Racing Commission to adopt a
     rule allowing for out-of-competition testing, which is currently in the rule-making process in

4.) Frozen Sample Testing - The MJC petitioned the Maryland Racing Commission to adopt a rule
     allowing for frozen sample testing. The Commission is now beginning the rule-writing process
     to adopt.

5.) Security Assessment Review and Training – Per Alliance requirements, Pimlico submitted itself
     on May 6-7, 2010 to an independent assessment by representatives of ORI (Organization of
     Racing Investigators).

6.) Compliance Program – Pimlico has provided to the Alliance, and implemented, an effective
     compliance program that includes written documentation of all protocols required under the
     Alliance’s Code of Standards.

“We are pleased to grant Pimlico full accreditation following the many positive steps it has taken since last year’s provisional accreditation,” said Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. “In many instances, Pimlico had to go beyond the confines of its facility and lobby the Maryland Racing Commission for rules that would allow it to comply with the Alliance’s rigorous Code of Standards. We salute Pimlico’s dedication and perseverance on behalf of its athletes.”

“We are delighted that Pimlico has been accorded full accreditation by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance inspection team,” said Tom Chuckas, President of the Maryland Jockey Club. “It was our goal to affirm Pimlico’s rightful place among tracks which have already undergone and passed this rigorous process. We believe Pimlico and the entire Maryland racing community is now the better for it.”

Pimlico now becomes the 17th racing facility to be fully accredited by the Alliance. Churchill Downs and Keeneland were accredited in April 2009; Belmont Park received accreditation in May 2009; Delaware Park and Hollywood Park were accredited last June; Monmouth Park was accredited in July; Arlington Park and Saratoga Race Course received accreditation in August; Calder Race Course, Turfway Park and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club were accredited in September; Oak Tree at Santa Anita/Santa Anita Park received accreditation in October; Fair Grounds and Aqueduct Racetrack were accredited in December; Golden Gate Fields was accredited last February; and Woodbine received accreditation in March.

The Alliance, formed in October 2008 with the goal of establishing national uniform standards in the areas of safety and integrity, includes 55 racetracks in North America and every major national horsemen’s organization. Alliance certification standards cover six broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; uniform medication, testing and penalties; safety research; and wagering security. Within those six categories, specific standards focus on areas including:

  • Systematic reporting of equine injuries
  • Aftercare of racehorses
  • Pre- and post-race veterinary examinations
  • Post-mortem examinations
  • Health and safety of jockeys
  • Riding crops and their use
  • Horse shoes and hoof care
  • Safety research
  • Safety equipment for jockeys and horse handlers
  • Exogenous Anabolic Steroids
  • Alkalinizing agents (TCO2)
  • On-track emergency medical care for humans and equines
  • Out-of-competition testing
  • Freezing and retrospective testing of post race samples
  • Continuing education
  • Security assessment and training
  • Totalizator technology and “stop wagering” protocols
  • Wagering incident investigation

The NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance is a standing organization whose purpose is to establish standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at www.NTRAalliance.com.

The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, former four-term Governor of Wisconsin and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, serves as independent monitor of the Alliance and will provide public reports on Alliance progress in instituting safety and integrity standards.