May, 2016


Synthetic Track Survey Results:  During the May 3 meeting of the New York Racing Franchise Oversight Board, it was announced that the New York Racing Association has discussed the possibility of installing a synthetic surface at Aqueduct. On May 9, NYTHA sent out a poll to determine how our membership felt about this plan. The results of the poll were something of a surprise, with those who responded split nearly down the middle on the issue: 48.4% opposed the plan, 46.1% supported the plan and 5.5% were undecided.

If you have not yet weighed in on this topic, click the link below to take NYTHA’s brief survey.

Synthetic Track Survey


JICF Legislation Introduced: The New York State Senate and Assembly have introduced legislation that would allow the New York Jockey Injury Compensation Fund to expand to include hotwalkers, grooms, watchmen, assistant trainers and other eligible backstretch workers, in addition to the exercise riders and jockeys currently covered. The bill would also give the NYJICF the flexibility to explore self-insurance options for the workers’ compensation policy it provides.

“We are looking for long-term solutions to the workers’ compensation crisis,” said NYTHA President Rick Violette Jr., who also represents the horsemen on the NYJICF Board. “Bringing workers such as grooms and hotwalkers into the NYJICF policy will lower the overall risks, making the policy more attractive to commercial insurance carriers. Self-insurance is another avenue that needs to be investigated. The current model, which served New York’s racing industry well for more than two decades, no longer works. The hope is that this legislation will provide the means necessary to create a new model that will lower costs across the board.”


NYTHA Advocates for Policy Change to Benefit Owners: Thoroughbred owners operating under a stable name, in the past, have been required to pay The Jockey Club fees associated with registering their silks and stable name any time there is a change in managing owner, even if the change is necessitated by a death. This policy was brought to NYTHA’s attention earlier this year, and we reached out to The Jockey Club to request they review the rules. The Jockey Club responded quickly, and the policy has now been modified. Stables will be allowed to make one administrative change annually without incurring additional fees, unless new silks are registered for the stable.

“We Love The Backstretch Wednesday” Click the links below to check out the latest “We Love The Backstretch Wednesday” photo albums, which put the spotlight on the invaluable men and women who care for our horses. Follow NYTHA on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming pictorials. Thanks to Susie Raisher for the wonderful photos. 
               WLTBW” Week 4             “WLTBW” Week 5      

              “WLTBW” Week 6              “WLTBW” Week 7


Do You Have Funds in An Account at Parx? The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has posted a list of owners and trainers who have money in accounts with the Parx Horsemen’s Bookkeeper that is in jeopardy of being sent to the state due to inactivity. Click here to see the list of accounts that have been deemed inactive, and contact the Horsemen’s Bookkeeper at Parx Racing if your name is on the list. The Parx Horsemen’s Bookkeeper may be reached via phone at (215) 639-9000, x3315 or 3389 or fax at (215) 639-8480.

Tack Room Heaters: Summer may be around the corner, but it’s not too early to think about hard-wired heaters for tack rooms and offices at the track. NYRA rules prohibit free-standing heaters in the barn area, but trainers can request that the hard-wired heaters be installed. Submit work orders to the NYRA Maintenance Department.

RTCA To Host Informational Meeting for Backstretch Workers: The Race Track Chaplaincy, New York Division, will host a meeting in the Belmont Rec Hall at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15, to educate backstretch workers on topics such as the Backstretch Pension Plan, life insurance and renters’ insurance. The meeting is sponsored by NYTHA, and refreshments will be served. In addition, NYRA’s new Chief Security Officer, Robert Sica, will introduce himself to the backstretch community. For more information, contact Nick Caras at (516) 835-0275, or stop by Chaplain Chavez’s Office by Belmont Gate 6.

Town Hall Meeting: The Association of Racing Commissioners International is holding a "Town Hall" Meeting Friday, June 17, at 10:30 a.m. at Belmont Park. The meeting is one in a series of focus groups being held across the country, and is part of an effort to build a consensus on addressing structural issues and problems in racing. The goal is to obtain local and regional input from industry participants, leaders and fans.

There is no cost to participate, but those planning to attend are asked to pre-register, using this link:



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