12/27/2010 3:56PM

Gulfstream Park to subject jockeys, officials to random alcohol tests


Gulfstream Park announced Monday that it will give random breathalyzer tests to jockeys, stewards, assistant starters, and members of the gate crew beginning with the opening of the 2011 meet on Jan. 5.

“The safety and integrity of the sport have always been priorities at Gulfstream Park,” said Tim Ritvo, vice president of racing for MI Developments. “We want to minimize the safety risks, the injuries, and accidents due to the inappropriate use of alcohol and insure the professionalism of the sport of Thoroughbred racing.”

Ritvo said any jockey who registers a reading of .04 or greater will be taken off their mounts for the remainder of the day, while any members of the gate crew, outriders, or stewards who blow a similar reading will be sent home for the day. Any person refusing to take the random test will not be allowed to work that day.

Ritvo said the program is designed not only for safety but to help track employees and others with alcohol-related issues.

“We’ve talked to jockeys, horsemen, and track officials, and everyone is supportive of the plan,” Ritvo said.