Reports of Mares Bred Due at The Jockey Club by August 1

The Jockey Club reminds stallion managers to submit their Reports of Mares Bred (RMBs) for the 2020 breeding season by August 1.

“To ensure that the breeding statistics we release in the fall are as accurate as possible, we request that RMBs be submitted by August 1,” said Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club. “In addition to the utility of covering information in mare produce records and catalog-style pedigrees available through equineline, the number of mares reported bred each year is an important economic indicator of the health of the Thoroughbred breeding industry.”

Stallion managers who submit completed RMBs by August 1 are among the first to receive their Stallion Service Certificates, which facilitates the timely registration of 2021 foals.

Reports of Mares Bred may be submitted via Interactive Registration at registry.jockeyclub.com or a form is available by email, fax, or mail by contacting inquiries@jockeyclub.com.

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A Simple Fix: Race When Others Aren’t

By Jim Gagliano

Our economies, our businesses, our families have all been affected in some way by this pandemic. Major sports were hit especially hard. Baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, golf, and even the summer Olympics and Wimbledon had to cancel or postpone their schedules.

The same was true for horse racing, but because of its unique nature, horse racing was able to resume long before other major sports, although without the benefit of spectators.

The Jockey Club and Breeders’ Cup spearheaded an industrywide collaboration to position horse racing as a viable and entertaining sports betting option to a captive audience of sports fans yearning for action during this unprecedented time. Fox Sports, NBC, and TVG have jumped on the opportunity to provide live racing to their viewers, with insightful commentary and coverage all while social distancing. A national ad campaign was launched to showcase horse racing and the thrill of wagering on races, providing insight on how and where to bet. Racetracks, ADWs, and other companies are providing free betting tools and spending advertising dollars to attract fans.

And it’s working. Fans are viewing and betting on races online via ADWs. Because of the ad campaign, there have been nearly 50,000 pageviews to a dedicated landing page on America’s Best Racing, with 98% of them being new users. And according to executives at Fox Sports, racing has been invaluable during the pandemic. Total viewing of horse racing on Fox networks through May is up 677% over last year, and combining Fox and NBC networks, excluding last year’s Triple Crown dates, total viewing of racing is up 793%.

Although racing without spectators and on a smaller scale has resulted in most of our sport’s economic indicators’ being down, at many of the tracks that have re-opened, handle has almost doubled, and in some cases, such as Lone Star Park and Ruidoso Downs, it has almost quadrupled compared with last year.

Another positive is that field sizes are up.

Overall, year over year through the end of May 2020, average wagering per race day was up 38.94% and average field size was up 6.64%.

Year over year for the 15 tracks that ran in the first week of June 2019 and June 2020, average wagering per race card was up 12.11% and average field size was up 16.76%.

This is fantastic, but as more racetracks open for business, these trends are not expected to continue.

To keep them from reversing, racetracks need to work together to ensure the product stays healthy and attractive, not only to our tried and true fans, but to the new fans and bettors who have grown to love our sport over the past few months.

At the 2017 Round Table Conference, Ben Vonwiller, a partner at McKinsey & Company, discussed better race scheduling through big analytic data.

“Our hypothesis is that if you maximize the share of attention bettors can focus on any one race, they will bet more often,” Vonwiller said.

Based on a scheduling study it performed for the NFL, McKinsey created a scheduling model for horse racing that could predict handle using approximately 40,000 races from 2015. The model proved the hypothesis that if our sport can maximize share of attention through optimized scheduling, people are more likely to bet.

The need for better race scheduling was actually first discussed at the 2011 Round Table Conference. From Michael Lamb, principal, media and entertainment practice, McKinsey:

  • It has been well known in the industry that field size matters, but our extensive regression allowed us to quantify this relationship, from which we see a strong correlation between field size and handle. In this example, adding an eighth starter to a mid-sized race drives a handle increase of nearly 11%.
  • Another dilution problem is overlapping race schedules, which make it hard for off-track bettors and fans to follow the best races. For example, in 2010 more than 77% of races at top tracks–defined as those with average purses in excess of $200,000–occurred within five minutes of a race at another major track.
  • These overlaps reduce handle. As an example, we analyzed three Grade I stakes races that occurred within 22 minutes of each other at Oaklawn, Keeneland and Aqueduct. Had these races been spaced out to occur at least 15 minutes apart, they would have generated 6% more handle in total, with each participating track significantly better off.

Here we are in 2020 with handle and field size up as racetracks re-open, and what are some tracks doing? They are running their races on top of already scheduled races and on days when other tracks are already racing. They are taking attention from each other, confusing fans and bettors, and devaluing our product. Some tracks intentionally drag their post times to conflict with other races, which not only is unproductive, but also is dishonest and shows a lack of integrity.

Last year, Equibase launched a scheduling hub that enables racetracks to compare off times. Through the hub, racetracks communicate with Equibase and one another on race days to help clear conflicts. It’s up and running, it’s free, and tracks have signed on, but they aren’t making the most of the information.

On June 5, the day before what would have been the GI Belmont S., two major tracks had races going off at the exact same time, twice, and another instance where the post times were one minute apart.

If racetracks would focus on running races when other tracks aren’t, we could keep the positive trends in racing moving forward.

This has been proved by tracks such as Fonner Park, Tampa Bay Downs, Lone Star Park, Fair Meadows, and Will Rogers Downs, which all shifted schedules to decrease competition and have had great wagering on their cards for Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Imagine the impact if tracks would also race later in the day or in the evenings, when sports fans are even more likely to sign on to ADWs.

As other sports start resuming play, horse racing needs to retain the fans and bettors it has attracted, who have realized that horse racing is an exciting sport that is fun to watch and provides a great wagering experience.

The NFL, MLB, NHL, and other major sports leagues know that overlapping schedules are bad for business. Racetracks know that, too, and it’s time for them to do something about it. With the Belmont S., this year’s first leg of the Triple Crown, being run this weekend on the same day that almost 20 other tracks will race with four tracks running graded stakes races, we owe it to our fans to give them the best experience possible.

There is a lot in racing that needs to be fixed. This fix is simple, and it should have been done a long time ago.

Jim Gagliano is President and Chief Operating Officer of The Jockey Club

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Virtual Welfare & Safety of the Racehorse Summit Concludes with Update on the Equine Injury Database

June 9, 2020

 

The ninth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, held this year as a series of weekly webinars due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, concluded today with a presentation on findings from the Equine Injury Database. The webinars were hosted by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, which had previously hosted eight in-person summits.

This week’s presentation was delivered by Dr. Tim Parkin, professor of Veterinary Epidemiology at the University of Glasgow, and the webinar was moderated by Dr. Mary Scollay, executive director and chief operating officer of the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium. Parkin described risk factors for fatal injury in Thoroughbred racehorses based on data from the Equine Injury Database. Risk factors included history of previous industry, time spent on the vet’s list, increased age at first start, changing trainers and time spent with a trainer, track surface and condition, race distance, and racing in claiming races.

“Even though we were unable to host an in-person Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, we felt it was important to offer these webinars to inform industry stakeholders and the public on the work being done to protect our equine athletes and enhance equine welfare,” said Jamie Haydon, president of Grayson. “We thank our presenters and moderators for taking the time to discuss the important work they are doing to protect equine athletes.”

Today’s webinar will be uploaded to Grayson’s YouTube channel at bit.ly/graysonchannel. All presentations from the virtual Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit can be found on this page.

The virtual Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit kicked off May 12 with a presentation by Dr. Katherine Garrett of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, who discussed the uses and advantages of different imaging modalities. She also highlighted common injuries to the fetlock.

On May 19, Dr. Dionne Benson, chief veterinary officer of The Stronach Group, moderated a panel consisting of Dr. Ryan Carpenter, a private veterinarian in California; Dr. William Farmer, the equine medical director for Churchill Downs Incorporated; and Dr. Scott Palmer, the equine medical director for the New York State Gaming Commission. The group emphasized the importance of transparency in medical records throughout a horse’s racing career.

The May 26 webinar featured Dr. Mick Peterson, executive director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory and professor of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Peterson focused on the Maintenance Quality System, which monitors track conditions. His presentation also included interviews with Glen Kozak, the New York Racing Association’s (NYRA) senior vice president of Operations & Capital Projects; Jim Pendergest, general manager of The Thoroughbred Center and director of Surfaces at Keeneland; Dr. Stephanie Bonin, biomedical engineer at MEA Forensic; and Dennis Moore, track superintendent at Del Mar and Santa Anita.

The fourth webinar was moderated by Dr. Jennifer Durenberger, The Jockey Club steward for NYRA, on June 2. This session featured a presentation by Dr. Sue Stover, professor of Surgical and Radiological Sciences at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She delved into findings from the California Horse Racing Board’s postmortem program. Stover noted that catastrophic injuries are the result of pre-existing conditions and tend to occur in predictable locations.

Among the major accomplishments that have evolved from the previous eight summits are the Equine Injury Database; the Jockey Injury Database; the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory; a uniform trainer test and study guide; the racing surfaces white paper and publication of educational bulletins for track maintenance; the publication of stallion durability statistics; the Hoof: Inside and Out DVD, available in English and Spanish; protocols for horses working off of the veterinarian’s list; recommended regulations that void the claim of horses suffering injuries during a race; and inclement weather protocols.

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is traditionally the nation’s leading source of private funding for equine medical research that benefits all breeds of horses. Since 1983, the foundation has provided more than $28.8 million to fund 383 projects at 45 universities in North America and overseas. Additional information about the foundation is available at grayson-jockeyclub.org.

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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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