05/15/2008 12:00AM

Committee sets schedule

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A committee formed recently by the Jockey Club to study health and safety issues for horses plans to issue its final recommendations by mid-August, the committee said after meeting for the first time on Monday.

The Jockey Club formed the committee in the wake of the death of Eight Belles shortly after the 3-year-old filly finished second in the Kentucky Derby on May 3. The death became a lightning rod to critics of racing both inside and outside of the sport.

The committee met via conference call on Wednesday afternoon. The seven members of the committee had been asked to review documents that had been developed as part of two health and safety summits sponsored by the Jockey Club over the past 20 months prior to the call. The most recent summit was held in April.

During the conference call, the committee set a timeline for regular meetings to discuss breeding practices, medication, track surfaces, and rules of racing, according to a release from the committee. The summit has produced standing committees that focus on many of the same topics.

Two meetings were scheduled, for May 27 in Lexington, Ky., and June 4 in New York. The committee will hope to deliver its final recommendations during the Aug. 17 Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing, an annual event put on by the Jockey Club.