04/12/2011 11:35AM

Finger Lakes receives NTRA safety and integrity accreditation

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Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack in Farmington, N.Y., has received full accreditation from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Safety and Integrity Alliance, the association announced Tuesday.

Like the 19 other racetracks that have received accreditation since the voluntary program was launched several years ago, Finger Lakes was required to comply with a list of standards developed by the alliance in a host of areas related to safety practices. The track was inspected by alliance personnel at the conclusion of its 2010 meet, according to the alliance.

Mike Ziegler, the alliance’s executive director, cited Finger Lakes’ Thoroughbred adoption program as “the top such program that we have ever reviewed.” The program places retired horses that raced at the track at a local retraining center, where they are prepared for adoption. Finger Lakes also holds a number of fundraising events for the program and collects donations and sponsorships through its website.

Under the program, Finger Lakes will maintain its accreditation for two years.

The Safety and Integrity Alliance was launched late in 2008 in the midst of elevated public scrutiny of racing after the filly Eight Belles was euthanized shortly after finishing second in that year’s Kentucky Derby. Although 55 tracks had initially committed to seeking accreditation, the majority of tracks have yet to ask to be reviewed.

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