The Jockey Club Releases 2020 Report of Mares Bred Statistics

The Jockey Club today (10-23-20) released Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics for the 2020 breeding season. Based on RMBs received through October 18, 2020, The Jockey Club reports that 1,067 stallions covered 27,970 mares in North America during 2020.

The Jockey Club estimates an additional 2,500 to 3,500 mares will be reported as bred during the 2020 breeding season.

RMB statistics for all reported stallions in 2020 are available through the Fact Book section of The Jockey Club’s website at jockeyclub.com.

Kentucky traditionally leads North America in Thoroughbred breeding activity. During 2020, Kentucky’s 200 reported stallions covered 16,391 mares, or 58.6% of all of the mares reported bred in North America. The number of mares bred to Kentucky stallions decreased 4.3% percent compared with the 17,123 reported at this time last year.

Of the top 10 states and provinces by number of mares reported bred in 2020, stallions in Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico covered more mares in 2020 than in 2019, 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 2020:

State/Province 2019 Stallions 2020 Stallions Pct. Change 2019 Mares Bred 2020 Mares Bred Pct. Change
Kentucky 220 200 -9.1% 17,123 16,391 -4.3%
California 124 103 -16.9% 2,018 1,766 -12.5%
Florida 81 73 -9.9% 1,863 1,721 -7.6%
Louisiana 79 74 -6.3% 984 1,017 3.4%
New York 43 37 -14.0% 1,058 1,002 -5.3%
Maryland 31 29 -6.5% 780 806 3.3%
Pennsylvania 28 37 32.1% 686 734 7.0%
Ontario 29 24 -17.2% 538 519 -3.5%
Oklahoma 38 40 5.3% 479 476 -0.6%
New Mexico 51 48 -5.9% 437 453 3.7%

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 2019 Breeding Statistics

The Jockey Club today reported that 1,552 stallions covered 31,198 mares in North America during 2019, according to statistics compiled through Sept. 29, 2020. These breedings have resulted in 19,677 live foals of 2020 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 85-90 percent complete. The reporting of live foals of 2020 is down 3.4 percent from last year at this time when The Jockey Club had received reports for 20,363 live foals of 2019.

In addition to the 19,677 live foals of 2020 reported through Sept. 29, The Jockey Club also received 2,476 No Foal Reports for the 2020 foaling season. Ultimately, the 2020 registered foal crop is projected to reach 20,500.

The number of stallions declined 4.8 percent from the 1,630 reported for 2018 at this time last year, while the number of mares bred declined 4.0 percent from the 32,508 reported for 2018.

The 2019 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 55.3 percent of the mares reported bred in North America in 2019 and 60.2 percent of the live foals reported for 2020.

The 17,240 mares reported bred to 228 Kentucky stallions in 2019 have produced 11,851 live foals, a 2.9 percent decrease on the 12,200 Kentucky-sired live foals of 2019 reported at this time last year. The number of mares reported bred to Kentucky stallions in 2019 decreased 1.2 percent compared to the 17,446 reported for 2018 at this time last year.

Among the 10 states and provinces with the most mares covered in 2019, three produced more live foals in 2020 than in 2019 as reported at this time last year: Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The following table shows the top 10 states and provinces ranked by number of state/province-sired live foals of 2020 reported through Sept. 29, 2020.

2019 Mares Bred 2019 Live Foals 2020 Live Foals Percent Change in Live Foals
Kentucky 17,240 12,200 11,851 -2.9%
California 2,129 1,612 1,390 -13.8%
Florida 2,024 1,164 1,156 -0.7%
New York 1,080 703 652 -7.3%
Louisiana 1,082 728 647 -11.1%
Pennsylvania 853 339 510 50.4%
Maryland 804 537 506 -5.8%
Ontario 615 377 350 -7.2%
Oklahoma 631 289 342 18.3%
New Mexico 624 307 313 2.0%

The statistics include 429 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 150 Chile 8
Turkey 83 Jamaica 8
Republic of Korea 81 Australia 4
Ireland 38 Germany 2
Japan 23 Peru 2
Great Britain 16 Barbados 1
France 13

The report also includes 79 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 2020 will be released later this month.

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The Jockey Club Statement on USTA’s Response to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

 

Lexington, KY – The Jockey Club today released a response from its general counsel, Marc Summers, to the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) recent assertion that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) is unconstitutional.

In a recent press release, the USTA touts a secret “white paper” purportedly concluding that the HISA is “possibly” unconstitutional. Of course, no one else has set eyes on this white paper. But it is hardly surprising that — after months of USTA opposition to any bill like HISA — the USTA’s hired-gun law firm would come up with the USTA’s preordained conclusion.

The USTA’s unwillingness to release its legal analysis is telling: In reality, HISA is carefully crafted and constitutionally sound. The bill has been rigorously vetted. Many attorneys from different sectors (including Supreme Court and constitutional experts from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP) have thought through the very issues the USTA raises, because we anticipated that those who oppose the bill for other reasons would lob this type of unfounded attack. In the face of decades of precedent supporting the proposed statutory scheme, none of the USTA’s four constitutional arguments withstands scrutiny.

1. HISA does not violate the non-delegation doctrine. The USTA is correct, of course, that there are important limits on Congress’ ability to “grant regulatory authority to private entities.” But that doctrine does not bar private entities from “help[ing] a government agency make its regulatory decisions, for ‘[t]he Constitution has never been regarded as denying to the Congress the necessary resources of flexibility and practicality’ that such schemes facilitate.” Ass’n of Am. Railroads v. United States Dep’t of Transp., 721 F.3d 666, 671 (D.C. Cir. 2013) (quoting Pan. Ref. Co. v. Ryan, 293 U.S. 388, 421 (1935)), vacated on other grounds, 575 U.S. 43 (2015). As long as a government agency has discretion to approve, disapprove, or modify a private party’s proposed regulations, longstanding Supreme Court precedent makes clear that Congress is free to formalize the party’s role in the regulatory process.

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (Authority) designated in HISA is subject to the oversight and approval of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in at least two critical respects. On the front end, the Authority must file any proposed rules (or rule changes) with the FTC, which must subject the rules to proper notice-and-comment and agency-approval procedures. Without the FTC’s approval, the rules cannot take effect and have no binding legal force. On the back end, all sanctions imposed bythe Authority “shall be subject to review by an administrative law judge” appointed by the FTC, subject to yet further review by the commissioners. Far from the “exalted brooding” the USTA criticizes, these statutorily mandated constraints ensure the FTC’s ultimate responsibility for any meaningful action carried out under the HISA.

This relationship mirrors the enduring and effective model adopted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). FINRA is a private, independent, nonprofit, self-regulatory organization that participates in the regulation of the securities brokerage industry, subject to SEC oversight. As with the proposed Authority-FTC scheme, FINRA rules must be approved by the SEC and FINRA’s disciplinary actions are subject to SEC review. Courts considering challenges to FINRA on the non-delegation grounds that the USTA’s press release trumpets consistently have held that the contentions have “no merit.”

Grasping at straws, the USTA warns about (undefined) “law-enforcement powers” that “would be free from FTC oversight.” As an initial matter, the predicate for USTA’s warning is false: Any powers carried out by the Authority, whether analogized to “law-enforcement powers” or not, would be cabined by specific rules the FTC adopts and specific review the FTC conducts over any resulting sanctions. In any event, the Authority’s investigatory powers also parallel those that FINRA routinely carries out with respect to securities brokers and firms. In fact, other statutory schemes — such as Congress’ express grant of broad investigatory authority to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), a private entity recognized as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic sports — impose far fewer constraints on self-regulatory organizations than the FINRA-SEC and Authority-FTC models impose.

2. Hedging its non-delegation challenge, the USTA alleges that the HISA may run afoul of the Appointments Clause and Article II removal restrictions. But the USTA does not acknowledge, let alone resolve, the tension between its two arguments: The non-delegation theory rests on the notion that HISA delegates regulatory authority to a private entity. Meanwhile, the Appointments Clause and removability concerns apply only to federal (i.e., non-private) entities. The fact that the pre-existing Authority designated by HISA is private — as USTA emphasizes to support its non-delegation challenge — dooms any Appointments Clause or removability challenge.

3. USTA’s due process theory fares no better. Ignoring the exceedingly difficult standard for bringing a successful claim under the Due Process Clause, the press release vaguely cautions against “economically self-interested private actors.” But the Authority’s only interest is improving the integrity and safety of horse racing. The “capture” theory that the USTA creates out of whole cloth lacks any basis. As the USTA recognizes, the majority of the Authority’s board members are “independent” (i.e., from outside the equine industry). To be sure, the remaining board members will have industry experience and engagement. But it is difficult to understand how that statutory recognition of the value of informed voices constitutes a deprivation of due process. What’s more, with respect to that minority group of board members, HISA expressly provides for equal representation among each of the six equine constituencies (trainers, owners and breeders, tracks, veterinarians, state racing commissions, and jockeys). And the committee tasked with nominating eligible candidates for board and standing-committee positions is made up of entirely non-industry members. The HISA further imposes broad conflicts-of-interest requirements to ensure that all board members and independent standing committee members (and their employees and family members) are free of all equine conflicts of interest.

All those safeguards mean the Authority’s board will be even more constrained from self-dealing than the leadership of other self-regulatory organizations, including FINRA. Regardless, established precedent confirms what common sense indicates: Even when a private entity is engaged in the regulatory process, agency authority and surveillance serve as adequate guards against any promotion of self-interest. See, e.g., Sunshine Anthracite Coal Co. v. Adkins, 310 U.S. 381, 399 (1940). The FTC’s ability to overrule the Authority’s proposed rules and sanctions ensures that neither the Authority nor the individuals making up its board can “use their position for their own advantage — to the disadvantage of their fellow citizens.” Pittston Co. v. United States, 368 F.3d 385, 398 (4th Cir. 2004).

4. Finally, no part of HISA commands states to do anything to which they don’t freely agree. Instead of requiring the states to undertake any particular duties, the bill presents them with genuine choices: They can work with the Authority to effect the anti-doping program or they can relieve themselves of enforcement activity, with the Authority implementing the horse racing anti-doping and medication control program in the state. Further, the weakness in the USTA’s anti-commandeering argument is laid bare by its reliance on an incorrect quotation from the bill. Rather than providing that “State law enforcement authorities shall cooperate and share information with the Authority,” the bill directs the Authority “to cooperate and share information” with state and federal law enforcement authorities whenever its investigation into violations of the horse racing anti-doping and medication control program uncovers a violation of state or federal law.

For all its grandstanding, the USTA’s bottom line (apparently quoting its attorneys) is underwhelming to say the least: The “enactment would lead to extensive litigation and the possible invalidation of the statute.” Anyone can sue over anything — the mere existence of litigation says nothing about its likelihood of success. These are the facts: The HISA is ground firmly in 70 years of precedent and the Authority-FTC relationship closely parallels the long-running FINRA-SEC model. However, anything is “possible.” It is possible to place a winning trifecta bet six races in a row. But it is not likely. If Congress rejected every bill that could be litigated and “possibly” invalidated, it would never enact a new law.

The HISA is on solid constitutional footing.

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The Jockey Club Projects Foal Crop of 19,200 in 2021

The Jockey Club is projecting a 2021 North American registered Thoroughbred foal crop of 19,200. The estimation for the 2020 foal crop remains at 20,500.

The foal crop projection, traditionally announced in mid-August, is computed by using Reports of Mares Bred (RMBs) received to date for the 2020 breeding season. RMBs are to be filed by August 1 of each breeding season.

“The Jockey Club delayed publication of the estimation of the 2021 foal crop to provide stud farms that may have been affected by COVID-19 additional time to submit their RMBs,” said Matt Iuliano, The Jockey Club’s executive vice president and executive director.

Additional foal crop information is available in The Jockey Club’s online fact book at jockeyclub.com/factbook.asp and in the online state fact books.

Stallion owners who have not returned their RMBs for the 2020 breeding season are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Interactive Registration, which enables registered users to perform virtually all registration-related activities over the Internet, is the most efficient means of submitting RMBs and is available at registry.jockeyclub.com.

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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McConnell Announces Horseracing Integrity And Safety Act, New Independent Regulatory Authority

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Monday, August 31, 2020, at a press conference in Lexington, his plans to introduce legislation in the U.S. Senate to help set national standards to promote fairness, increase safety, and help preserve Thoroughbred racing. The McConnell bill, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, will be introduced in September following the state-work-period. U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) will introduce the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Because of Kentucky’s leading role in this sport, Senator McConnell brought Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club, and other industry leaders together earlier this year to develop a solution to the challenges facing horse racing. A number of them joined Senator McConnell and Congressman Barr for today’s major announcement: Keeneland President & CEO Bill Thomason, Keeneland President & CEO-Elect Shannon Arvin, Churchill Downs Incorporated CEO William “Bill” C. Carstanjen, Breeders’ Cup President & CEO Drew Fleming, and The Jockey Club Vice Chairman William “Bill” M. Lear Jr.

“I’m proud to be joined by prominent horse racing leaders in Kentucky as they take the courageous step to increase nationwide safety standards for horses, jockeys, trainers, breeders, and fans. I’m grateful to Congressman Andy Barr for his strong leadership on this important issue,” said Senator McConnell.

Also announced was the launch of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, which will be an independent, non-governmental regulatory body responsible for improving current regulations bringing a new level of transparency. This Authority will also address medication use, track conditions and other safety standards to protect equine athletes. Senator McConnell’s Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act will provide federal recognition and enforcement power for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to develop uniform, baseline standards for horse racing.

“Kentucky is proud of our distinct horse racing traditions. We must address the challenges the sport faces so we can preserve our heritage and the jobs of over 24,000 Kentuckians who support it,” said Senator McConnell. “As Senate Majority Leader, I look forward to working with Congressman Barr and our colleagues across the aisle on our legislation to give federal recognition to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. Together, we can better protect every competitor and give each of them a fair shot at the Winner’s Circle.”

Congressman Barr said, “Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of work and negotiation to develop uniform racing standards under one independent regulatory body. The future of the sport depends on fair competition, a level playing field across state lines, as well as the safety and welfare of our equine and human athletes. Now is the time for the horse racing industry to embrace change that will attract a new generation of fans and solidify the future of this special sport. I want to thank Leader McConnell for his partnership on this effort and I look forward to moving this legislation across the finish line.”

“This groundbreaking legislation and the collaborative effort behind it speaks to the commitment those of us in the Thoroughbred industry have to establish uniform safety and integrity standards across the U.S. and bring American racing in line with international guidelines,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We applaud the leadership of Senator McConnell and Congressman Barr, who share our passion for horse racing and a dedication to strengthening the future of this great sport.”

Churchill Downs Incorporated CEO William “Bill” C. Carstanjen said, “It is critical to the future of Thoroughbred racing that the safety and integrity of our sport be governed by world-class, uniform standards across the United States. The leadership of Senator McConnell and Congressman Barr has been instrumental in our shared goal of bringing the Thoroughbred industry together to achieve this goal.”

“This legislation gives us an opportunity to make the single most significant and far-reaching safety and integrity enhancement in the history of Thoroughbred racing by bringing our sport into the 21st century and protecting its future for generations to come,” said Drew Fleming, President and CEO of Breeders’ Cup Limited. “While there is more work to do both in Congress and in the racing community, we are now on the path to a safer and more transparent sport thanks to Senator McConnell’s leadership and ability to bring people together around this important non-partisan issue. It has been a privilege to work with Congressman Andy Barr, my Chairman Fred Hertrich and my trusted counterparts at Churchill Downs and The Jockey Club, among many others, to contribute to this initiative for the betterment of our industry.”

“The Jockey Club has long pursued a collaborative solution within our industry to establish national reforms ensuring clean competition and improved safety for horses and humans alike. We express our sincere thanks to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and organizations such as Breeders’ Cup, Churchill Downs Inc., Keeneland, New York Racing Association, and The Stronach Group for working so closely with us on this legislation,” said Stuart S. Janney III, Chairman, The Jockey Club. “We strongly believe that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is vital to developing uniform and effective medication and safety regulations that will enhance the integrity and safety of American horse racing and improve the sport.”

The Jockey Club Chairman continued, “We also applaud Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY) and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Martha McSally (R-AZ) for their support and devotion to horse racing and for introducing the original bill into the House and Senate. We will continue to work closely with Congressional co-sponsors, industry stakeholders and animal welfare organizations in our pursuit of national, uniform standards for drugs, medication, and safety in horse racing.”

“Without federal legislation mandating that USADA enact ‘clean’ drug rules, reliable testing, qualified labs and strict penalties for violators, the sport of American horse racing faces an uncertain future,” said Staci Hancock, Managing Member of the Water Hay Oats Alliance. “With Senator McConnell’s leadership and the continued efforts of Representatives Andy Barr and Paul Tonko in the House, WHOA’s members look forward to the day when our great sport can rebuild its reputation, protect our beloved horses and their jockeys, and reclaim racing’s place as one of America’s top spectator sports.”

Kitty Block, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said, “Senate Majority Leader McConnell has stepped up to end widespread doping in American horse racing and to address racetrack safety, the key contributing factors to fatalities on American racetracks. We cannot continue to look the other way when a racehorse is severely injured or killed during training or a race. This measure will advance necessary reforms that will make or break horse racing in the United States.”

In reaction to the news Monday, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association distributed the following statement:

“Horsemen should view today’s developments with the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act with hope,” said NYTHA president Joe Appelbaum. “It’s been clear for a generation that a systematic approach to equine welfare is needed and this effort is a big step in that direction. The broad changes proposed today by Senator McConnell are a significant improvement on previous drafts of legislation and I’d like to personally commend the industry participants for working together to overcome their differences.

“The real work starts now, as we will need to not only pass this legislation but actually implement its proposals. NYTHA looks forward to working with all parties to ensure that horse racing has a worthy system ensuring the safety of our equine athletes and a level playing field. Our primary stakeholders, horsemen and bettors, deserve nothing less.”

The Stronach Group, via its 1/ST Racing brand, released the following statement of support from CEO Craig Fravel:

“1/ST RACING is committed to achieving the highest level of horse care and safety standards in Thoroughbred racing and we strongly urge Congress to consider the adoption of The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act that will introduce national policies to control medication and regulate anti-doping in the sport of horse racing.

“At 1/ST RACING our priority is to ensure the safety of our horses and riders and we believe that the investment into equine health and safety is not only the right thing to do, it is crucial to the future of Thoroughbred horse racing. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act recognizes that industry stakeholders including the owners, trainers, breeders, jockeys, and racetrack operators must be unified toward a new standard of equine health, safety and welfare.”

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club CEO Joe Harper provided the following statement after the news was announced:

“The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (DMTC) applauds the introduction of federal legislation which will provide safety and welfare uniformity within the sport of horse racing.  DMTC’s commitment to the safety and welfare of our human and equine athletes is unwavering.  We are proud of the recent industry-leading medication reforms that have been implemented at Del Mar and at California’s other horse racing venues.  We urge Congress to support similar medication regulation for horse racing throughout the county.

“DMTC is a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition and is accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Safety and Integrity Alliance.  DMTC looks forward to continuing our work with other industry stakeholders, legislators and regulators to ensure our sport is conducted at the highest levels of safety and integrity.”

National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association CEO Eric Hamelback released the following statement:

“Today, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced his plans to introduce legislation that purports to set national standards to promote fairness, transparency, and increased safety in Thoroughbred racing.

Senator McConnell claims to have found compromise within the industry, yet no representative horsemen’s groups, horseplayers or veterinary leadership organizations seem to have been consulted in the collaboration. The National HBPA represents close to 30,000 owners and trainers who want nothing more than increased safety and integrity to secure the strength of the business and our industry.

The greatest concern of the National HBPA is protecting the health and safety of horses. If Senator McConnell is serious about hearing from tens of thousands of real Kentuckians, as well as horsemen across the country, we stand ready to meet with him. We certainly hope he will meet with us since those pushing this bill have mischaracterized the industry and our views in the past.

As CEO, I can tell you we were never consulted on the recently-announced Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. Contrary to an erroneous statement made by another elected official at today’s announcement, the HBPA was not made aware of any “compromise” negotiations until a deal had already been reached, nor has the Board of the National HBPA even been asked for its support.

Because the legislative text has not yet been released, the National HBPA will reserve final judgement, but we caution our elected leaders to not be misled by the wealthy few who continue to promote federal legislation in service to their own, private interests. Based on what we heard today, we are concerned these elite few continue to hold the reins.”

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68th Round Table Conference to Feature Anti-Doping, Achieving Integrity, and Diversity

The Jockey Club announced today that its 68th Annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing will highlight the importance of reform in medication rules and testing, challenges faced by the Thoroughbred industry, and insights into the claiming system. This year’s conference will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be streamed on The Jockey Club’s website at jockeyclub.com on Sunday, August 16, at 10 a.m. EDT and be aired on TVG and Racetrack Television Network’s respective platforms. The Jockey Club Chairman Stuart S. Janney III will preside over the conference.

“While we are disappointed that we cannot host an in-person event, we are excited by this year’s lineup of speakers and the perspectives they will share with the conference’s virtual attendees,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club.

Gagliano will interview three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond about anti-doping and the importance of clean competition. LeMond has been outspoken about performance-enhancing drugs for more than 30 years and has testified before the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Trainers Mark Casse, John Gosden, and Jessica Harrington will discuss training and competing in different jurisdictions in a panel moderated by Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club. Casse was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame this year, while Gosden has trained champions in both the United States and Europe. Harrington, based in Ireland, has trained top horses on the flat and over jumps.

Bob Costas, former sportscaster for NBC Sports and current sportscaster for MLB Network and contributor to CNN, will discuss covering the Triple Crown races and the challenges faced by sports in 2020. Prior to leaving NBC Sports in 2019, Costas co-anchored or hosted its coverage of baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf, NASCAR, boxing, the Olympics, and horse racing. Costas co-hosted NBC’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby from 2001-2018.

Sal Sinatra, the president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, will present on America’s system of claiming races and recommend changes that would benefit the sport. Before joining the Maryland Jockey Club, Sinatra spent 15 years at Parx Racing, where he was the vice president of racing and racing secretary.

Katrina Adams, the immediate past president of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), will discuss the importance of diversity. She previously served two terms as the USTA’s chairman and president and was an accomplished professional tennis player on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour for 12 years. Adams was the first African American, first former professional tennis player, and youngest person ever to serve as USTA president.

Jason Wilson, president and chief operating officer of Equibase, will deliver a report on the activities of The Jockey Club.

The full agenda and bios of all speakers will be posted on jockeyclub.com in advance of the conference.

The Jockey Club Round Table Conference was first held on July 1, 1953, in The Jockey Club office in New York City. The following year, it was moved to Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

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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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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