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Wednesday, August 29, 2012Contact: Cathy O'Meara (859) 224-2702
ROAP Launches Inaugural Certificate Program at Arlington Park

The Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP) announced today its inaugural Certificate Program, designed to provide hands-on training to entry level racing officials, will be at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill., on September 28-29, 2012.

“ROAP is pleased to have Arlington Park, an NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance-accredited facility, to host our Certificate Program, the first of its kind in the U.S.” said Hugh Gallagher, ROAP chairman. “There has been wide acceptance of the ROAP Steward/Judge Accreditation; however, the industry has lacked a formal training program for entry-level officials. This program will provide the necessary educational components and hands-on training needed to ensure integrity and continue to raise the bar in our sport.”

ROAP has a long-standing steward and judge accreditation program, hosted through the universities of Arizona and Louisville. Currently, 70% of race days in the U.S. are adjudicated by a panel of three accredited stewards. Further, 99% of race days are monitored by a least one ROAP accredited steward.

“We are pleased to provide our facilities to ROAP for this invaluable program,” stated Tony Petrillo, Arlington Park general manager. “We set high standards to ensure integrity and safety of our sport and require our stewards to be ROAP accredited. The Certificate Program is the next logical step to racing officials’ education.”

The ROAP Certificate Program is designed for anyone interested in becoming a racing official or for someone interested in learning about what goes on in the racing office. The two-day course includes classroom and hands-on training. Participants will select one of the following positions in which to earn a certificate good for five years: horse identifier, paddock judge, patrol/placing judge, outrider, starter / assistant starter, or clerk of scales. The cost of the program is $25, and it will be available to a limited number of applicants as space permits. Online applications are available at

ROAP will conduct approximately four certificate programs annually and will rotate the programs throughout the country. The next certificate programs are tentatively scheduled for Delaware Park and Churchill Downs later this fall.

Arlington Park — the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. — will run a 90-day meet in 2012 from Friday, May 4, through Sunday, Sept. 30. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 12 off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities — Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Waukegan, Joe's Bar on Weed Street featuring Trackside Chicago, Tavern on North featuring Trackside Villa Park, Shooters Bar & Grill at Don Carter Lanes featuring Trackside Rockford, Fat Sam's Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Stanley's Ale House featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino's featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry, TADS Sports Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit, Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins, and Sam's Triple Crown featuring Trackside Orland Hills. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at

ROAP, which receives primary funding from The Jockey Club and is based in its Kentucky office, is a 501(c) (6) organization whose board of directors is made up of representatives from 18 industry organizations and eight at-large representatives. Stewards and judges receive their accreditation and continuing education credits through this program.

The website address for ROAP is