lone star park canceled the race on July 14 and 15 but is expected to resume on July 16 after the jockeys received assurances from the track and the insurance company that they would receive prompt off-track medical treatment from providers s ‘they were hurt during the race, according to Terry Meyocks, President and CEO of the Guild of Jockeys. A decision by the jockeys resulted in a cancellation Thursday night, while the track decided to cancel Friday night, Meyocks said.
Racing was cleared to resume on Saturday, he added, with an “enhanced system in place which will benefit everyone”.
The Texas track, operated by Global Gaming Solutions, has a million-dollar track insurance policy for injured jockeys, Meyocks said, but that a rider injured there July 4, Carlos Montalvo, hadn’t been able to get an appointment until the end of this week. with a specialist to get treatment for three to four injuries.
The track accident insurance policy, underwritten by Chubb and purchased through John Unick through the Insurance Office of America, is the “exact policy” in place at many other U.S. racetracks, Unick told BloodHorse.
“It seems to be a regional situation in Dallas-Fort Worth,” Unick said. “I don’t know what’s causing it, but medical providers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are all of a sudden coming together and being picky about insurance.”
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Frustrations with getting pre-clearance and pre-clearance to see specialists were involved, Unick added.
“All we know as jockeys is that we need to know we’re okay before we go out and risk our lives,” said veteran jockey Stewart Elliott.
Meyocks said the jockeys met with Lone Star Park management late Thursday afternoon and the riders declined to ride that evening due to concerns. The track chose not to race on Friday night because it was unsure if it could finalize its plans before the race day horses received medication, Elliott said. Many horses are treated with the diuretic Lasix about four hours before a race.
“It’s not what Lone Star did wrong or the insurance company,” Meyocks said earlier Friday. “It’s the system that may be broken. It’s unfortunate.”
Lone Star Park executive Tim Williams declined to comment Friday morning on behalf of Global Gaming.
Amy Cook, executive director of the Texas Racing Commission, did not return messages seeking comment.
“This is being handled at the highest level, and Carlos, like any jockey, will be taken care of properly,” Unick said. “Our reputation means everything in taking care of the jockeys. He’s in the best of care, but sometimes the system needs to be ironed out.”
On Saturday, Lone Star Park is hosting the $300,000 Texas Turf Classic and three supporting stakes worth $150,000 each on one of its best race days of the season. His meeting runs until July 24.
“I haven’t spoken to a lot of coaches about it, but everyone wants to race,” Elliott said ahead of Meyocks’ announcement that racing would resume on Saturday. “Everybody gets frustrated when we don’t race because it costs the owners money, and nobody makes money sitting at home. I think management is doing everything they can. According to what i can see they are working very hard. They have been driving Carlos everywhere, trying to straighten him out. They are trying to fix this so it won’t happen again.