HRI Staff Edited Release — The New York Racing Association announced Thursday that it has established an enhanced Safety and Integrity Team with addition of two Safety Stewards, Juan Dominguez and Tim Kelly, to begin as Safety Stewards tomorrow, February 21.

Dominguez and Kelly, lonetime NYRA exployees, will be part of a four-person Safety and Integrity Team dedicated to enhancing existing safety protocols at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.

Dominguez and Kelly will complement a unit that includes current Safety Steward Hugh Gallagher and Jean Claude Jaramillo, NYRA’s Equine Investigator Specialist.

The newly formed team will consult and advise stakeholders on matters relating to overall safety and integrity, including a focus on the health and welfare of equine athletes, jockeys and exercise riders.

The Safety and Integrity Team will specifically focus on maintaining and expanding best practices during morning training, afternoon racing, and in the barn areas at NYRA tracks in coordination with the New York State Gaming Commission.

“This will allow us to have more boots on the ground and increase coverage at all three facilities to ensure a safer working environment, as well as further enhancing the integrity of the sport,” said Martin Panza, NYRA’s Senior Vice President of Racing Operations.

Dominguez was also heavily involved in signature event days for the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, investigating and enforcing compliance at the Breeders’ Cup, Pegasus World Cup, Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes.

Kelly has served as NYRA’s Clerk of Scales since 2005 before joining the Safety and Integrity Team. With more than 35 years of experience in the racing industry, Kelly earned a reputation as an accomplished trainer with 314 career wins to his credit from 1984-01, including six graded stakes victories, among them Imbibe’s 1989 Grade 2 Peter Pan triumph.

Sal Russo, who previously served as Assistant Clerk of Scales, has been promoted to Clerk of Scales.

Hugh Gallagher joined NYRA in April 2014 to fill the newly created position of Safety Steward. A longtime steward, Gallagher has officiated races in his home state of Maryland, as well as Illinois, New Jersey, Florida and other jurisdictions.

Jean Claude Jaramillo probes alleged violations of house rules, laws and rules by licensed horsemen, vendors, employees and other NYSGC licensees and NYRA badge permit holders. His duties extend to investigating alleged violations including mistreatment, neglect of race horses, equine medication violations, and other improper activities.

The Safety and Integrity Team’s responsibilities, among others, includes:
* Monitoring and observing daily backside activities
* Follow-up on leads which may involve the inappropriate or illegal use of medications, such as permitted and prohibited drugs which may affect racing performance
* Make recommendations to the NYRA, New York State and Jockey Club Stewards to ensure the integrity of racing and compliance with horse racing laws and regulations
* Conduct safety checks during training hours
* Assisting stewards during formal hearings
* Assisting NYRA investigators with the barn inspections on medication positives and with internal investigations
* Monitoring training to ensure that exercise riders, outriders, and pony riders observe all rules
* Help assure proper horse ambulance protocol for quick response during training and racing
* Monitoring the horses leaving and entering the backside enclosure;
* Assisting NYRA Veterinarians with out-of-competition testing;
* Investigating selected horse fatalities.

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