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Stakes Eligibility Changes Shelved

Published: February 9, 2018 11:57 am ET

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Trot Insider has learned that the Standardbred Racing Integrity and Accountability Initiative (SRIAI) originally scheduled to be launched this year for stakes races on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit as well as The Meadowlands has been delayed until 2019.

The statement from WEG issued on Thursday noted that WEG "will continue to work through the regulatory details [of the SRIAI] with the AGCO in the coming months, with a view to continuing our commitment to deliver the highest level of racing integrity at our racetracks." This would imply that the eligibility concerns would not be ironed out by the February 15 stakes payment deadline.

Clay Horner, Chairman of the Board at Woodbine, confirmed on Friday morning that the roll-out of the stakes eligibility changes was pushed back until next year. Horner posted the following statement on Facebook:

"It was ready to go yesterday morning and is a simple and straightforward rule. It may evolve by next fall depending on what we experience this year. One key element was addressing the beard issue and we will watch that closely too. Almost everyone was constructive with their comments and I learned a lot. I won’t single people out generally as that would be a very long list but the work of [Bill O'Donnell] and his COSA Board and SC Chair Joanne Coville was of huge assistance.

"I’m sorry that we are delayed a year in being able to tell prospective new owners that we have a fair shake for them if they are fortunate enough to make these races but that will come. As I have noted before, John Campbell has been a great help too. We could not have a better partner than Jeff Gural and his team and I will miss our very regular update calls. I’m proud that we listened and learned and I’m happy to have talked so much with old friends and to have made many new ones. Thanks again. We’ll be back and we will move things forward for those great people in the industry and better positioned to have the best elite races, attract new owners and protect our horses.

"Looking forward to hosting you at Mohawk."

Related Stories

WEG Update On Integrity Initiative
Changes Pending To Eligibility Rules
Stakes Conditions Strengthen Integrity

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