Thoroughbred Racing Groups Launch National Ad Campaign

May 28, 2020 (Lexington, KY) – The Breeders’ Cup and The Jockey Club have launched a national ad campaign titled “Still. Running. Strong.” to promote Thoroughbred racing as major racetracks across the country resume live racing without spectators during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizations announced today.

The campaign, which includes broadcast, digital, and social media elements, comes at a time when other major sports are on hiatus and horse racing is receiving unprecedented levels of live television coverage on NBC Sports and FOX Sports.

In addition to Breeders’ Cup and The Jockey Club, significant financial support for the campaign was provided by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA); TVG, an affiliate of the FanDuel Group; the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA); and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).

“As more of our major venues get back to live racing and with people at home seeking diversion and entertainment, we wanted to be proactive about promoting the sport to a broader audience,” said Drew Fleming, President and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup. “Horse racing has a unique opportunity to lead the way as we resume operations safely and, in doing so, provide fun and excitement for millions of sports fans and bettors across the country.”

The campaign highlights the bond between human and horse along with the thrill of watching and betting on horses that sets horse racing apart. Digital and social media executions promote the legal on-line wagering aspects of the sport, directing people to a new landing page on America’s Best Racing’s website, featuring fan education materials, wagering basics and links to horse racing’s advanced-deposit wagering platforms.

“With racing returning to major circuits and the addition of many hours of live programming on Fox Sports and NBC Sports there is now a unique opportunity to appeal to new fans and ask them to sample Thoroughbred racing,” said Jim Gagliano, President & COO of The Jockey Club. “Our goal is to increase awareness of racing as an option for these potential customers, engage with them, and provide the initial tools for them to learn more and break down barriers to participation. We are grateful to NTRA, TVG, KTA, and TOBA for supporting our efforts to promote racing and look forward to working with others to grow the campaign.”

“On behalf of our member tracks and horsemen’s organizations, we are happy to support this collaborative effort, especially during this unique window of opportunity,” said Alex Waldrop, NTRA President and CEO.

While most professional sports seasons have been sidelined or restricted to mitigate risks associated with human-to-human contact in the midst of the pandemic, horse racing has been able to operate safely in many jurisdictions under strict screening, sanitation and health protocols under guidance from public health officials and other experts.

The campaign launches today and will run on NBC Sports, FOX Sports and a variety of targeted digital and social channels. It was developed by Boston-based agency CTP, the Breeders’ Cup’s longtime advertising agency.

For more information visit AmericasBestRacing.net/Strong.

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The Jockey Club Adopts Rule Regarding Thoroughbred Stallion Breedings

The Jockey Club board of stewards today announced that it has adopted a final rule limiting the annual breeding of individual stallions. The rule reflects The Jockey Club’s goal to preserve the health of the Thoroughbred breed for the long term and will apply prospectively to stallions born in 2020 or later.

Effective today, The Jockey Club’s Principal Rules and Requirements of the American Studbook are amended by adding the following italicized language to the text of Rule 14C:

C. Based on the information on a completed Report of Mares Bred form, The Jockey Club will forward to the stallion owner, lessee or authorized agent a preprinted Service Certificate for each broodmare bred, including the name of the stallion, the name of the broodmare, the name of the dam of the broodmare, and the date of the last cover.

The total number of broodmares bred per individual stallion whose year of birth is 2020 or thereafter shall not exceed 140 per calendar year in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The Jockey Club shall limit the number of Stallion Service Certificates for such stallions to a maximum of 140 per calendar year.

When the stallion owner, lessee or authorized agent receives the preprinted Service Certificate, it should be examined for accuracy, signed by the stallion owner, lessee or authorized agent and forwarded to the breeder of the foal or submitted to The Jockey Club through Interactive Registration™ at http://www.registry.jockeyclub.com. The Service Certificate is required to register a foal. Service Certificates will not be issued unless a completed Report of Mares Bred form is on file at The Jockey Club and until genetic or re-DNA typing of the stallion has been completed (see Rule 5).

In an effort to illustrate the operation of the new rule, The Jockey Club offers the following examples of how it will be applied:

(1)  For stallions born in 2019 and earlier, there will be no limit to the number of mares reported bred in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The Jockey Club will issue stallion certificates for all mares bred by such stallions within the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico during a calendar year.

(2)  For stallions born in 2020 and later, the maximum number of mares covered within the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico in a calendar year will be 140. It would be a violation of Rule 14C for such a stallion to cover more than 140 mares within the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico during a calendar year. The aforementioned limit will apply to all mares bred during a calendar year regardless of when The Jockey Club receives a Report of Mares bred (or any amendments or supplements thereto).

The Jockey Club will modify its Report of Mares Bred form and other related forms in recognition of the amendment to Rule 14. Stallion Service Certificates will be issued on the basis of first cover date in the order of mares listed on the Report of Mares Bred.

The Jockey Club is grateful for the many thoughtful comments in response to its September rule proposal. The stewards carefully considered those comments in formulating a rule that will promote diversity of the Thoroughbred gene pool and protect the long-term health of the breed.

The Jockey Club will continue to maintain the Principal Rules and Requirements of the American Studbookin keeping with its mission to ensure the health of the Thoroughbred breed.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It is the sole funding source for America’s Best Racing, the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing. You can follow America’s Best Racing at americasbestracing.net. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.

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Donations to The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation to go to COVID-19 Relief

The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation is calling for donations to assist backstretch workers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak across the United States. All donations to the foundation will be designated for COVID-19 relief until further notice.

The foundation’s current priority is addressing the immediate need to stock food pantries at racetracks around the country, and it is coordinating with the Race Track Chaplaincy of America in this effort.

Those who would like to contribute should visit tjcfoundation.org/donate. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, checks cannot be accepted at this time. All donations are tax-deductible.

“The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation works with chaplaincies and horsemen’s groups across the nation on a daily basis to help the men and women who care for our equine athletes and are the backbone of our industry,” said Shannon Kelly, executive director for the foundation. “With many racetracks currently closed for live racing and instituting strict quarantine procedures due to the pandemic, backstretch families face significant financial strain, and the foundation is poised to utilize its resources to help those in need.”

The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation is a charitable trust that provides, on a confidential basis, financial relief and assistance to needy members of the Thoroughbred industry and their families. Recipients of the Safety Net Foundation’s support represent virtually every facet of the Thoroughbred industry, from jockeys, trainers, exercise riders and grooms to office personnel and other employees of racetracks, racing organizations, and breeding farms. Assistance can come in any number of forms, including financial aid, medication, surgical and hospital costs, therapeutic equipment, voice-recognition computers for quadriplegics, and wheelchair-accessible vans. Since 1985, The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation has provided more than $16 million in assistance.

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COVID-19: Maintaining Breeding Shed Activity

The challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic have led to new protocols for Thoroughbred breeding to minimize risk of infection among farm staff and related personnel charged with transporting and handling horses.

The Jockey Club recommends that all North American, Central American, and Caribbean Thoroughbred stud farm operations at a minimum follow guidelines from the Kentucky Department of Ag Guidelines for COVID-19: Breeding Shed Activity issued by E.S. “Rusty” Ford from the Office of the State Veterinarian, Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

With vans and individuals visiting multiple facilities each day during the breeding season, it is important to adopt standard practices in how people and horses visiting sheds are managed. The essential elements enumerated in the guidelines are reproduced below with permission from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture:

KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF AG GUIDELINES FOR
COVID-19: BREEDING SHED ACTIVITY
 
BREEDING SHED ACTIVITY:  With vans and individuals visiting multiple facilities each day we do recommend adopting standard practices in how we manage people and horses visiting sheds.
 
1.     Submission of documentation for mares booked to be bred would best be done electronically. We’ve seen numerous reports where handled paper can be contaminated.
 
2.     Eliminate outside individuals (van drivers and mare attendants) from coming into the prep area and shed.  To accomplish this, the van would arrive, the mare would be offloaded and handed off to a shed employee (using the shed’s shank) who would handle the mare through the process.  The van driver and anyone accompanying the mare to the shed should remain outside in the parking area while maintaining social distance with other individuals.
 
3.     After cover, the mare would be returned to the loading area and handed off to the attendant for loading onto the van.  If there is need for a mare’s attendant to witness the cover, this should be accomplished from outside – looking in, videotaped or virtually.
 
4.     The shank would be cleaned before returning to the shed or reuse and attendant would wash hands [recommended addition by The Jockey Club: or preferably disinfected with acceptable products efficacious in preventing the spread of viral or bacterial agents and the use of disposable gloves by attendants are recommended where practicable].
 
5.     Breeding equipment (leg straps, collars, boots etc.) would be cleaned before reuse [recommended addition by The Jockey Club: or preferably disinfected with acceptable products efficacious in preventing the spread of viral or bacterial agents and the use of disposable gloves by attendants are recommended where practicable].
 
6.     Additionally, maintaining enhanced biosecurity in our daily activity is essential to all of these mitigations.
 
Implementing these practices, and any other action you can take to eliminate people from congregating in common areas will be beneficial and could be critical in our ability to continue transporting horses to/from sheds.

 
For information on COVID-19 in the United States, please visit the Center for Disease Control.

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Record Low in 2019 for Equine Fatalities in Racing

Despite problems at Santa Anita Park, racing in U.S. and Canada enjoys safest year.

 

Despite a rash of breakdowns at Santa Anita Park, the overall number of catastrophic injuries during racing fell 8.9% in 2019 compared with 2018.

The equine fatality rate of 1.53 per 1,000 starts is the safest year on record in the 11 years The Jockey Club Equine Injury Database has tracked such incidents in the United States and Canada. The EID tracks equine fatalities during racing, which allows wide participation and facilitates comparison from year to year.

Based on the 2019 data, 99.84% of flat racing starts at the racetracks participating in the EID were completed without a fatality. The overall drop in the risk of fatal injury from 2009-19 was 23.5%.

Read BloodHorse Article

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2020 Fact Book Available on The Jockey Club’s Website

The Jockey Club announced today that the 2020 edition of the Fact Book is available in the Resources section of its website at jockeyclub.com.

The online Fact Book is a statistical and informational guide to Thoroughbred breeding, racing and auction sales in North America and is updated quarterly. It also features a directory of Canadian, international, national, and state organizations. Links to the Breeding Statistics report that is released by The Jockey Club each September and the Report of Mares Bred information that is published by The Jockey Club each October can be found in the Breeding section of the Fact Book.

This year’s Fact Book includes three new statistics: percentage of mares bred by stallion covering year; percentage of first-time starters by age; and percentage of foal crop that won a race by racing year.

“The Jockey Club is pleased to be able to provide this new data, and we encourage suggestions on additional information to include in the Fact Book to enhance its value as a tool for the Thoroughbred industry,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club.

The 2020 editions of State Fact Books, which feature detailed breeding, racing, and auction sales information specific to numerous states, Canadian provinces, and Puerto Rico, are also available on The Jockey Club website. The State Fact Books are updated monthly.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It is the sole funding source for America’s Best Racing, the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing. You can follow America’s Best Racing at americasbestracing.net. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.

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Applications Now Open for The Jockey Club’s Academic Scholarships

The Jockey Club announced Monday, January 13, 2020 that applications are now open for its two college scholarships. The scholarships total $21,000 and will be awarded for the academic year that begins in the fall of 2020.

The Jockey Club Scholarship was first awarded in 2017 and provides $15,000 ($7,500 per semester) to a student who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher at any university and has demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred racing industry.

The following criteria will be considered for The Jockey Club Scholarship: career aspirations, activities involving the equine or Thoroughbred industry, and high academic achievement.

That scholarship complements The Jockey Club Jack Goodman Scholarship, which was created in 2007 and is awarded annually to a student at the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program (RTIP). The annual $6,000 ($3,000 per semester) Jack Goodman Scholarship is based on academic achievement, a proposed career path in the Thoroughbred racing industry, and previous industry involvement.

The deadline for both applications is March 31, 2020.

“The Jockey Club is proud to offer these scholarships in an effort to support young individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in the horse racing industry,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer, The Jockey Club.

Goodman was a resident of Tucson, a longtime member of The Jockey Club and one of three founders of the RTIP.

More information and links to applications for the scholarships can be found here: jockeyclub.com/Default.asp?section=Initiatives&area=15. The recipients of each scholarship will be announced this summer.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It founded America’s Best Racing (americasbestracing.net), the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing, and in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, operates OwnerView (ownerview.com), the ownership resource. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.

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Mares Bred in Louisiana Drops 12.5% in 2019

The Jockey Club today released Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics for the 2019 breeding season. Based on RMBs received through October 16, 2019, The Jockey Club reports that 1,134 stallions covered 29,218 mares in North America during 2019.

The Jockey Club estimates an additional 2,500 to 3,500 mares will be reported as bred during the 2019 breeding season.

The number of stallions declined 6.6% from the 1,214 reported at this time in 2018, and the number of mares bred decreased 3.5% from the 30,274 reported last year. Consistent with prior years’ reporting of stallions by book size, the number of stallions covering 125 or more mares increased from 62 in 2018 to 65 in 2019.

Further book size analysis shows a 6.7% increase in the number of mares bred to stallions with a book size of 125 or more in 2019 when compared to 2018 as reported at this time last year; a 9.1% decrease in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 100 and 124; a 9.1% decrease in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 75 and 99; a 16.7% decrease in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 50 and 74; a 12.4% decrease in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 25 and 49; and a 1.0% increase in mares bred to stallions with a book size fewer than 25.

The percentage of broodmares covered by stallions serving 125 or more mares increased from 31.9% in 2018 to 35.3% in 2019. From 2015-2017, this percentage had remained fairly constant at approximately 29%, up from 20.5% in 2014.

The proportion of stallions with book sizes of 125 or more mares grew from 5.1% in 2018 to 5.7% in 2019. It had previously grown from 3.1% in 2014 to 4.5% from 2015-2017.

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
% stallions with book size >125 3.1% 4.5% 4.5% 4.5% 5.1% 5.7%
% mares covered by stallions with book size >125 20.5% 29.1% 28.7% 29.4% 31.9% 35.3%

Note: Statistics summarized as of October 16 of the breeding seasons indicated in the columns above; as reports of mares bred continue to be received, final statistics are subject to change.

RMB statistics for all reported stallions in 2019 are available through the Fact Book section of The Jockey Club’s website at jockeyclub.com.

The stallions Justify and Mendelssohn led all stallions with 252 mares bred by each in 2019. Rounding out the top five by number of RMBs were Into Mischief, 241; Uncle Mo, 241; and Goldencents, 239.

Kentucky traditionally leads North America in Thoroughbred breeding activity. During 2019, Kentucky’s 220 reported stallions covered 17,123 mares, or 58.6% of all of the mares reported bred in North America. The number of mares bred to Kentucky stallions decreased 1.1% percent compared with the 17,322 reported at this time last year.

Of the top 10 states and provinces by number of mares reported bred in 2019, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma stallions covered more mares in 2019 than in 2018, as reported at this time last year. The following table shows the top 10 states and provinces ranked by number of mares reported bred in 2019:

State/Province 2018 Stallions 2019 Stallions Pct. Change 2018 Mares Bred 2019 Mares Bred Pct. Change
Kentucky 228 220 -3.5% 17,322 17,123 -1.1%
California 137 124 -9.5% 2,482 2,018 -18.7%
Florida 78 81 3.8% 1,917 1,863 -2.8%
New York 48 43 -10.4% 1,115 1,058 -5.1%
Louisiana 80 79 -1.3% 1,125 984 -12.5%
Maryland 30 31 3.3% 867 780 -10.0%
Pennsylvania 32 28 -12.5% 610 686 12.5%
Ontario 37 29 -21.6% 620 538 -13.2%
Oklahoma 43 38 -11.6% 470 479 1.9%
New Mexico 62 51 -17.7% 467 437 -6.4%

Note: Each incident in which a mare was bred to more than one stallion and appeared on multiple RMBs is counted separately. As such, mares bred totals listed in the table above may differ slightly from counts of distinct mares bred.

In addition, Report of Mares Bred information on stallions that bred mares in North America is available through report 36P or a subscription service at equineline.com/ReportOfMaresBred.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It founded America’s Best Racing (americasbestracing.net), the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing, and in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, operates OwnerView (ownerview.com), the ownership resource. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.

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The Jockey Club Releases 2018 Breeding Statistics

The Jockey Club today reported that 1,630 stallions covered 32,508 mares in North America during 2018, according to statistics compiled through Sept. 26, 2019. These breedings have resulted in 20,363 live foals of 2019 being reported to The Jockey Club on Live Foal Reports.

The Jockey Club estimates that the number of live foals reported so far is approximately 90 percent complete. The reporting of live foals of 2019 is down 3.6 percent from last year at this time when The Jockey Club had received reports for 21,130 live foals of 2018.

In addition to the 20,363 live foals of 2019 reported through Sept. 26, The Jockey Club also received 2,405 No Foal Reports for the 2019 foaling season. Ultimately, the 2019 registered foal crop is projected to reach 20,800.

The number of stallions declined 8.3 percent from the 1,778 reported for 2017 at this time last year, while the number of mares bred declined 5.2 percent from the 34,288 reported for 2017.

The 2018 breeding statistics are available alphabetically by stallion name through the Resources – Fact Book link on The Jockey Club homepage at jockeyclub.com.

Kentucky annually leads all states and provinces in terms of Thoroughbred breeding activity. Kentucky-based stallions accounted for 53.7 percent of the mares reported bred in North America in 2018 and 59.9 percent of the live foals reported for 2019.

The 17,446 mares reported bred to 241 Kentucky stallions in 2018 have produced 12,200 live foals, a 1.4 percent decrease on the 12,370 Kentucky-sired live foals of 2018 reported at this time last year. The number of mares reported bred to Kentucky stallions in 2018 increased 0.3 percent compared to the 17,401 reported for 2017 at this time last year.

Among the 10 states and provinces with the most mares covered in 2018, three produced more live foals in 2019 than in 2018 as reported at this time last year: California, Louisiana, and Maryland. The following table shows the top 10 states and provinces ranked by number of state/province-sired live foals of 2019 reported through Sept. 26, 2019.

2018 Mares Bred 2018 Live Foals 2019 Live Foals Percent Change in Live Foals
Kentucky 17,446 12,370 12,200 -1.4%
California 2,546 1,577 1,612 2.2%
Florida 2,057 1,217 1,164 -4.4%
Louisiana 1,207 713 728 2.1%
New York 1,122 777 703 -9.5%
Maryland 877 483 537 11.2%
Ontario 730 495 377 -23.8%
Pennsylvania 680 373 339 -9.1%
New Mexico 678 372 307 -17.5%
Oklahoma 646 329 289 -12.2%

The statistics include 303 progeny of stallions standing in North America but foaled abroad, as reported by foreign stud book authorities at the time of publication.

Country Live Foals Country Live Foals
Saudi Arabia 107 Russia 9
Republic of Korea 57 India 8
Ireland 27 Australia 6
Japan 22 Argentina 6
Great Britain 15 Panama 5
Philippines 15 Barbados 4
France 12 Peru 1
Mexico 9

The report also includes 86 mares bred to 14 stallions in North America on Southern Hemisphere time; the majority of these mares have not foaled.

As customary, a report listing the number of mares bred in 2019 will be released later this month.

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