A Commitment to Safety and Integrity

Keeneland was founded with the mission to put the best interests of the horse first. Throughout our history, the safety of horse and rider has been priority No. 1. Toward that goal, Keeneland has invested significantly in state-of-the-art technology to provide the most consistent racing surfaces possible and in initiatives that advance health and welfare research to benefit horse and rider; funded Thoroughbred aftercare initiatives; and been among the first to participate in databases that track equine and jockey injuries to promote transparency and study.

Thoroughbred Safety Coalition

Keeneland is at the forefront of an initiative in which the nation's leading racing organizations have linked arms to unify and enhance existing protections and work together to develop new reforms that ensure the safety of the sport’s athletes. The group seeks to create and implement a series of significant safety, medication, operational and integrity guidelines across racing to ensure the well-being of athletes and increase transparency and accountability.

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Track Safety

Figures since October 9

Number of Horses on Track: 820
Number of Horses with Timed Workout: 322
Number of Starters: 181

October 9

Number of Horses on Track: 506
Number of Horses Workout: 207
Number of Starters: 92
Dirt Moisture Content:22.3
Turf Moisture Content: 44.5
Going Stick Penetration: 5.87
Number of Incidents: 0

October 10

Number of Horses on Track: 314
Number of Horses Workout: 132
Number of Starters: 89
Dirt Moisture Content: 21.8
Turf Moisture Content: 43.7
Going Stick Penetration: 5.91
Number of Incidents: 0

October 13

Number of Horses on Track: TBA
Number of Horses with Timed Workout: TBA
Number of Starters: TBA
Dirt Moisture Content: 21.4
Turf Moisture Content: 35.7
Going Stick Penetration: 6.89
Number of Incidents: 1

Click here to view incident report

NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance Accreditation

Keeneland was among the first race tracks in North America to earn accreditation by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Safety & Integrity Alliance in 2009. Since then, Keeneland has been fully re-accredited every two years, most recently in 2019.

Alliance certification standards address an extensive list of safety and integrity concerns within 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.

Keeneland flag

Keeneland Race Track Maintenance Merges Art and Science

Keeneland is committed to advancing knowledge and providing the most consistent dirt and turf racing surfaces in the industry. This commitment is reflected in the significant investment made in the unique design and ongoing maintenance of our dirt track, turf course and training track, and the year-round best practices employed by our track maintenance team.

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Keeneland dirt track

Mawsafe Turf Rail

Keeneland replaced its inside turf rail with a Mawsafe safety rail in 2016. The unique flexibility of the Mawsafe rail makes it safer than existing solid pipe construction for horse and rider. The major safety feature is the horizontal PVC rail will absorb the impact of a horse and rider. The rail is designed to spring and bend as the ropes around a boxing ring, flexing under the weight of the horse to allow the rider to guide his mount back onto the turf course.

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Keeneland turf rail

Recent Reforms Significantly Enhance Safety Protocols at Kentucky Tracks

Keeneland has implemented major changes in racing and training policies to strengthen safety protocols at the track. Reforms included mandatory veterinary inspections prior to workouts and race entry and enhanced reporting and transparency requirements for trainers and attending veterinarians with regard to the fitness of horses to work and race.


Racing Equipment Promotes Safety and Welfare

Keeneland implements a number of policies regarding racing equipment for both horse and rider.


Thoroughbred Aftercare and Welfare

The aftercare of Thoroughbreds is of the utmost importance to Keeneland, and Keeneland champions these initiatives for the betterment of the sport.

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Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act

Keeneland is honored to have been involved in the passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) in December 2020. This legislation marks a landmark moment for Thoroughbred racing’s ongoing efforts to ensure horses run under the safest and most transparent conditions possible and to protect the integrity of the sport for our athletes, horsemen and fans. The independent Authority established by HISA will bring a level of consistency and accountability that will improve racing for years to come as they work to develop and implement uniform anti-doping, medication control and operational measures.