07/21/2009 11:00PM

Jockey Club panel changes toe-grab guideline


The Jockey Club's Thoroughbred Safety Committee on Wednesday issued a recommendation for racing commissions to adjust their rules on horseshoes to allow toe-grabs on front shoes of up to four millimeters. The previous recommendation of the committee called for a maximum of two millimeters on front shoes.

The committee said that it was releasing the revised recommendation due to concerns raised by horsemen. Several racetracks, including all of those in New York and Kentucky, adopted the two-millimeter rule late last year or early this year due to the earlier recommendation by the safety committee and a pledge by the American Graded Stakes Committee to deny grades to any races in which the two-millimeter restriction did not apply.

Near the end of June, Delaware Park raised its two-millimeter limit to four, except in graded stakes, after collecting data about horses stumbling at the starts of races.