Milton, ON. and East Rutherford, N.J., January 5 – Woodbine Entertainment and The Meadowlands today announced the implementation of the Standardbred Racing Integrity and Accountability Initiative (SRIAI) for their 2018 racing seasons.
Inspired by rules set out at Thoroughbred racing’s Breeders’ Cup, the Standardbred Racing Integrity and Accountability Initiative is designed to strengthen integrity in the sport and to respect the significant investment of owners and sponsors in the funding of stakes races.
The SRIAI’s conditions apply to 2018 stakes events at Woodbine, Mohawk Park, The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs for all owners, trainers and horses.
“The new conditions will help ensure strengthened integrity at the participating tracks, specifically in the stakes races,” said Jeff Gural, Meadowlands Racetrack Chairman and CEO. “The entire sport, including owners, trainers, drivers and horseplayers will benefit from this important initiative, designed to inspire confidence from existing and new owners. We encourage other tracks to join us by adopting these new stakes conditions.”
The new stakes conditions prohibit any owner, trainer, or horse from participating in an added money event if they have been found by a racing regulatory agency to have tested positive for prohibited substances as defined within the Association of Racing Commissioners International Uniform Classification for Foreign Substances of Class 1, 2, TC02 or steroids after January 1, 2018.
“Racing is well-monitored by the sport’s regulatory bodies in the United States and Canada and the participating tracks have an excellent record of racing product integrity, so fortunately, the number of positive tests is very, very low overall,” said Jessica Buckley, President, Woodbine, Mohawk Park. “By proactively updating the Standardbred Stakes Conditions, Woodbine Entertainment, The Meadowlands, and American Racing and Entertainment further demonstrate a continued commitment to ensuring a fair and safe racing environment to the benefit of everyone in the sport.”
The announcement is another collaboration between Woodbine Entertainment and The Meadowlands designed to advance transparency in harness racing.
“As industry leaders, we are working together to create added assurances for all racing participants,” said Ms. Buckley. “The intent of the SRIAI is to encourage owners to use the greatest discretion when choosing partners and trainers and to remind all horsepeople to be vigilant with their horses’ well being.”
Stakes races, including the Pepsi North America Cup and The Meadowlands Pace, are subject to the new rules.
A detailed rundown of the new conditions and a list of stakes races can be found on the track websites or within the Stakes Conditions Books for each racetrack.
About the Meadowlands, et al
The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs are Standardbred racetracks operated by Jeff Gural. Tioga and Vernon Downs are New York state casinos that offer seasonal racing while The Meadowlands has long been the industry leader in handle while hosting many of the top Grand Circuit events with an annual stakes purse schedule in excess $12 million (USD). Racing integrity is a benchmark of the three properties.