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Track Beefs Up Insurance for Riders

February 16, 2005|Bill Christine

Churchill Downs, where 14 jockeys walked out in November, protesting that they were underinsured, announced Tuesday that it would pay most of the costs for new riders' accident coverage that will top out at $1 million.

Churchill also said that it would buy the increased coverage for five other tracks that it owns. At another Churchill track, Hollywood Park, jockeys are covered by workers' compensation insurance, which is paid for by trainers and owners of the horses.

Previously, the limit on jockeys' coverage at Churchill was $100,000, under a policy paid for by the track in an industry-wide program. The Jockeys' Guild, which represents about 1,200 riders, including many who ride at Churchill, allowed a $1-million policy to lapse in 2002.

The jockeys who refused to ride at Churchill were banned for the rest of the fall meet. The Kentucky Legislature has said that it would review racetrack insurance problems next year.

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