08/27/2009 11:00PM

Stewards to take television role


A racing organization that trains stewards has launched a program to make a steward available for television broadcasts to explain infractions and racing rules, the organization, the Racing Officials Accreditation Program, announced on Friday.

A steward who has received media training through the program will appear on this year's Breeders' Cup broadcast on Nov. 6-7 on ESPN from Santa Anita Park in Southern California, according to the announcement. The Breeders' Cup, along with the American Quarter Horse Association, is a sponsor of the program.

The program is designed along the lines of the "On Call" program of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Since 1991, that organization has made veterinarians available to television networks to explain injuries and medical procedures. The program has been widely praised within the racing industry for providing timely, expert commentary during telecasts.

Stan Bowker, the chairman of the accreditation program, said that all stewards who appear on racing broadcasts will be unaffiliated with the racetrack where the race is being televised, and that the stewards' responsibility will be to "explain in layman's terms the nature of the incident, the applicable rules of racing, and the process by which stewards determine a call as it pertains to the incident in question."