Keeneland adds new safety measures to protect horses and trainers

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Keeneland will open its gates on Friday for the first day of the fall meet.

This year, there will be some changes at the track that you might not notice.

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Keeneland says it’s adding two new staffers that are focusing on keeping the horses safe.

The changes are happening after there was a lot of scrutiny on horse racing when more than 30 horses died at Santa Anita in just a few months.

Racing and Sales Vice President, Bob Elliston says Keeneland is paying extra attention to safety.

The track is adding an equine safety director and a race track professional.

Elliston says the race track professional will monitor and test the track every day. He says a track that’s too soft or too hard could hurt the horses running on it.

The equine safety director will work one on one with the horses and trainers to make sure they’re staying healthy.

“We want to give confidence to people that come here to race but also the fans who come here to watch these magnificent beasts go around the race track,” said Bob Elliston.

Keeneland’s fall meet begins on Friday.

The gates will open at 11 a.m. and the first race is at 1:05 p.m.

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Alexus Larson joined the ABC36 news team as a multi-media journalist in December 2018. She is from a suburb outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and most recently comes from Minot, North Dakota where she reported and graduated from Minot State University with a degree in broadcasting. Alexus and her husband are excited to be in Lexington and out of the cold! When she’s not reporting, she loves to explore new places, be with friends and family, and watch or attend sports – especially if it’s a Minnesota team! You can see Alexus reporting during the week and the weekends. If you have any story ideas, you can contact her by email alarson@wtvq.com, or you can find her on Facebook at Alexus Larson ABC36, or on Twitter at @AlexusLarsonTV. She looks forwarding to hearing from you!