by Fran Jurga | 14 August 2009 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog
Monmouth Park in New Jersey is the latest track in the Mid Atlantic region to take advantage of the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee’s memorandum to allow toe grabs up to four millimeters in height on front shoes on dirt racing surfaces only. The Safety Committee's loosening of the 2mm height restriction was recommended to allow racetracks the option if their trainers and horseshoers felt that their track surfaces might call for a taller grab.
Monmouth's new rule will go into effect for all dirt races at the track – including graded stakes – on Wednesday, August 19, 2009.
The previous rule allowed for toe grabs up to two millimeters, but the adjustment was made when it was reported that an unusually high number of horses were stumbling at the start of races, according to a press release issued today by Monmouth.
The rule applies to toe grabs on front shoes only, and in no cases is a height greater than four millimeters allowable. No traction devices of any kind are allowed on shoes worn in grass races.
Delaware Park made a similar change.
Click here to read the text of the Jockey Club's recent statement on toe grab regulation relaxation. The rule changes, if desired, must be done track by track and only allow the option of a higher grab on front shoes. State-wide rules may also be relaxed or may stay at 2 mm but that is a more involved process. It's not known how many trainers will take advantage of the option or what effect the change might have.
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