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Jockey Club panel issues 4 key recommendations

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The Jockey Club's Thoroughbred Safety Committee, formed in May to seek ways to improve the health and safety of racehorses, issued four new recommendations at the club's annual Round Table.

SARATOGA, N.Y. — The Jockey Club's Thoroughbred Safety Committee, formed in May to seek ways to improve the health and safety of racehorses, issued four new recommendations at the club's annual Round Table.

The standing committee, created May 8 after the death of the filly Eight Belles at this year's Kentucky Derby, previously called for the elimination of anabolic steroids in racing and training by the end of this year, a ban on toe grabs and a series of whip-related reforms, all of which were endorsed by organizations throughout the industry.

The four new recommendations added during the Aug. 17 Round Table include creation of a task force to develop a business plan for equine drug testing and research; implementation of model-rule classification guidelines and penalties by the end of 2008; a ban on alkalizing agents and adoption of racetrack "house rules" in the interim; and participation by all racing jurisdictions in the new equine injury database system that recently concluded a one-year pilot program.

The full text of all four recommendations are available at www.jockeyclub.com/tsc.asp.

The racing industry has been under increased pressure to institute reforms since the Eight Belles incident and a subsequent June hearing before a U.S. House subcommittee on potential reforms.

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