Jockey Club Donates Over $750K to Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory


Racetrack Safety program director Dr. Mick Peterson | Horsephotos

The Jockey Club has completed a contribution of more than $750,000 from its commercial businesses to the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory (RSTL) for equipment and other assets to expand services to additional racetracks across North America, the organization announced Tuesday.

The need to increase and sustain the future of research and innovation in track safety testing by the RSTL was expressed by Dr. Nancy Cox, dean, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Kentucky, at The Jockey Club's Aug. 11, 2019, Round Table Conference. Following Dr. Cox's remarks last summer, Stuart Janney III, chairman of The Jockey Club, confirmed The Jockey Club's funding support.

“Track surface is one of the most important aspects of racing safety, which is a priority for The Jockey Club,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating office of The Jockey Club. “The Jockey Club has supported the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory since its inception, and we hope these donations will ensure our horses and jockeys have the safest possible surfaces to train and race on.”

The equipment, which will be strategically located across North America, includes new trucks modified with testing equipment, including ground penetrating radar systems and biomechanical surface testing machines. The Jockey Club Technology Services is also contributing another $75,000 in software development services to the laboratory to enhance its centralized database.

“The database is an integral component of the laboratory,” said Dr. Mick Peterson, University of Kentucky professor and director of the Racetrack Safety program. “It acts as the central warehouse for storing weather, moisture, and track surface maintenance data that is critical to optimizing surface safety. These additional assets will enable us to expand the RSTL such that no longer will we be faced with difficult decisions of where to deploy the assets among racetracks opening during the same week.”

For more information about the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, visit

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