Communication and Consistency Stressed At Track Surface Meeting

A meeting to provide an update on the racing surfaces at Laurel Park included a discussion on ensuring trainers and regulatory veterinarians regularly communicate when horses are injured during training hours.

During the June 29 meeting hosted by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and held via Zoom, several trainers said they’ve had horses suffer injuries—some minor and others more serious—during training hours at Laurel. Trainer Lacey Gaudet, a member of the MTHA Board of Directors, said some trainers are scared to breeze horses, and that some horses “don’t come back well” after doing so.

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Match Series Returns To Laurel Park In July

The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships Series (MATCH) will reach its midpoint July 16 when Laurel Park hosts stakes in all four 2022 divisions.

The Saturday program will feature the $150,000 Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash (3-Year-Olds and Up Sprint—Dirt division), $100,000 Alma North Stakes (Filly and Mare Sprint—Dirt division), $100,000 Prince George’s County Stakes (3-Year-Olds and Up Long—Turf division) and $100,000 Big Dreyfus Stakes (Filly and Mare Long—Turf division).

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HISA provides update on select Safety Program rules

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority June 24 provided the following update regarding enforcement of its Racetrack Safety Program rules and registration requirements.

Rule 2276. Horseshoes

New horseshoe requirements will not be enforced until Aug. 1, 2022, to ensure adequate inventory of HISA-compliant horseshoes.

Rule 2281. Riding crop specifications

The riding crop specification rule will not be enforced until Aug. 1, 2022, to enable adequate inventory of HISA-compliant crops. (Note: Rule 2280. Use of riding crop will be enforced July 1, 2022.

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Medical card required for jockeys, exercise riders

Jockeys and exercise riders will be required at all times to have on their person a MedStar Emergency Card while on the track for racing or morning training effective July 1, 2022.
The card, which will be available through the Maryland Horsemen’s Health System, will list a person’s name, address, phone number, date of birth, emergency contact and phone number, agent and agent’s phone number, any allergies, and their employer if applicable. Also required is a list of current medications and confirmation of any medical conditions.
The card provides a contact number for filing workers’ compensation claims under the Maryland Jockey Injury Compensation Fund.

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MTHA forum on HISA expanded, relocated

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association’s open forum on Thursday, June 16, to discuss the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act will be expanded and relocated.

The event is still scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. but will move to Tycoons on the first floor of the clubhouse at Laurel Park to provide additional space and access to video screens for additional presenters and guests who wish to attend virtually. 

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Horsemen asked to report pin- or freeze-firing of horses

The Maryland Jockey Club on June 9 asked horsemen to provide a list of all horses in their barn that have had any pin-firing or freeze-firing (for example, shins, splints, etc.) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., including the location of the horses, on or before June 23, 2022.

Beginning July 1, 2022, when the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority's Racetrack Safety Program begins in Maryland and other racing states, pin- and freeze-firing will be a prohibited practice. Horses that do not have a record of such treatments prior to that time may be prohibited from racing—either for a period of time or permanently.

Track veterinarians will be inspecting horses designated as having been pin-fired or freeze-fired before July 1, 2022, and will make a note of the treatment in the The Jockey Club InCompass system, which will be available to HISA.


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