7th Thoroughbred Owner Conference Still Ago At Saratoga

April 20, 2020

OwnerView announced in December that the seventh Thoroughbred Owner Conference will be held July 19-22, 2020, at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Those dates were confirmed via email by Gary Falter, project manager for OwnerView. After the drought of horse racing and socializing, the Conference will be a boon to industry participants.

“We are excited to bring the Thoroughbred Owner Conference to New York for the first time and to host owners and prospective owners at historic Saratoga Race Course, one of the most iconic sporting venues,” said Falter. “We appreciate the New York Racing Association’s (NYRA) support of our event and their recognition of the importance of attracting new owners to the industry.” 

This year will feature seasoned professionals as well as fresh voices such as LNJFoxwood’s Jaime Roth, owner of multiple graded stakes and Eclipse Awards winner, 4-year-old mare, Covfefe. Topic will include every aspect of ownership from selecting your next horse to how the track surface it will run on is safely maintained. Special focus will be paid to economics with the first panel on day one taking into consideration the recent impact of COVID-19 and wide-scale interruptions throughout the industry.

“Ownership is the lifeblood of the sport, and we are pleased to welcome the OwnerView conference to Saratoga Race Course this summer,” said NYRA Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Gordon Lavalette. “Efforts to grow the ranks of ownership are central to the growth of the sport, and there is no better place to do that than at the Spa.”

The Owner Conference kicks off Sunday, July 19 at 6:00 PM with a reception at the National Museum of Racing. Enjoy a glass of wine, passed hors d’oeuvre, museum exhibits and mingling and networking with conference guests from around the US and Canada.  

End the Conference with a day at the Spa! Enjoy breakfast Wednesday morning on the porch at Saratoga Racecourse before visiting the historic backside barn area. Lunch will be followed with an afternoon of live racing trackside.

Sixth Conference Recap 

The sixth Thoroughbred Owner Conference  was held October 28-30, 2019, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Ca., with an emphasis on the various ways the industry has changed and progressed in recent years while acknowledging areas in which the sport needs to improve. The two-day conference, which was co-hosted by OwnerView and BloodHorse and presented by The Stronach Group, was attended by approximately 160 participants, including new, prospective, and longtime horse owners.

The conference coincided with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships held on Friday, November 1, and Saturday, November 2.

The highlight of the event was the “State of the Industry” panel, which included insights from industry leaders Aidan Butler, chief strategy officer and acting executive director of California Racing Operations for The Stronach Group; Everett Dobson, trustee of Keeneland and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and steward of The Jockey Club; Craig Fravel, (former) president and chief executive officer of Breeders’ Cup Limited; James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club; and Kip Levin, the chief executive officer of TVG and president and chief operating officer of FanDuel.

Topics addressed by the panelists included medication rules, use of the whip, safety, the need for uniformity, sports betting, and creating new fans.

Butler delved into the steps that have been taken to improve safety at Santa Anita and efforts made by groups in California to come together given the tumultuous state of the industry.

“Going toward international standards is something that America should go toward in the future, and it’s an issue that goes beyond Lasix,” he said. “We are trying to work together. It’s not always easy, but we’re trying to pull together. We either hang together or hang separately.”

Levin discussed the need for large events to bring in fans. “We get 60% of our new customers around the Triple Crown events and the Breeders’ Cup,” he said.

He also mentioned that TVG has made a concerted effort to tell the positive stories in horse racing. “We have spent a lot more time over the past year telling the good stories, and we are intending to do more of that.”

Gagliano advocated for passage of the Horseracing Integrity Act, which would create a private, independent national horse racing anti-doping authority responsible for developing and administering a strict anti-doping and medication control program.

“The bedrock of the sport is to have the right rules, integrity, and safety measures in place,” he said.

Other panels at the conference spanned a variety of topics including the business of ownership, syndicates, pedigrees, and aftercare as well as insights from successful owners, trainers, jockeys, and veterinarians.

Attendees were also able to attend the Rood & Riddle Post-Position Draw for the Breeders’ Cup, watch workouts from Santa Anita’s Trackside Breakfast Marquee, tours of Santa Anita Park, and enjoy a wine and dine.

“We were pleased to bring the Thoroughbred Owner Conference back to Santa Anita this year, and the event again delivered on its goals to educate new and prospective owners on the intricacies of the Thoroughbred industry in a world-class setting,” said Gary Falter, project manager for OwnerView. “This conference provides an unmatched opportunity for owners to gain access to the sport’s most prominent and successful individuals.”

Tom Durkin, the master of ceremonies, concluded the conference by announcing that the seventh Thoroughbred Owner Conference is planned for the summer of 2020 at Saratoga Race Course.

OwnerView announced that videos of all panels and presentations from the sixth Thoroughbred Owner Conference are now available at  ownerview.com/conference-videos.

“Posting the conference videos and presentations provides an educational tool for conference attendees, Thoroughbred owners, and other individuals who are interested in the insights that were shared throughout the two-day event,” said Gary Falter.

2020 Conference Panels and Schedule

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MONDAY, JULY 20

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PANEL 1 – The Economics of Racehorse Ownership & Ownership Challenges

9:15 AM to 10:15 AM

MODERATOR 

Acacia Courtney

PANELISTS

Jen Shah, Accounting

Joseph Appelbaum, President of New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA)

Maggi Moss, Owner

Shannon Arvin, Attorney

Detailed breakdown of the Cost of Ownership by region. Plus an analysis of an itemized training bill. Followed by insights to owner issues with Workman’s Comp and Labor Laws.

Sponsored by Airdrie Stud Inc.

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PANEL 2 – Partnerships and Racing Syndicates

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM

MODERATOR

Gabby Gaudet

PANELISTS

Anna Seitz

George Bolton

Terry Finley

Tom Gallo

Partnering with other owners is a new trend in ownership. Partnering owners discuss the benefits and challenges of forming partnerships. Plus racing syndicates talk about the various investment models available to owners.

Sponsored by Gainesway

Monday Lunch ~ 1863 Club

12:00 PM to 1:10 PM

Enjoy lunch in the 1863 Club

Lunch Sponsored by Bessemer Trust

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PANEL 3 – Safety Reforms

1:15 PM to 2:15 PM

Members of this important coalition give an update on racetrack changes, best practices and recommendations.

KEYNOTE Address

2:30 PM to 3:15 PM

Keynote Speaker to be announced

________

PANEL 4 – Veterinary

3:45 PM to 4:45 PM

A panel of veterinarians cover a variety of equine health topics; EIPH, bucked shins and soft-tissue injuries.

2020 Conference Wine & Dine Dinner

6:30 PM

Cap off the day by relaxing at the Conference Wine & Dine Dinner at the Fasig-Tipton sales ground.

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TUESDAY, JULY 21

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PANEL 5 – Maintaining Racetrack Surfaces

9:15 AM to 10:15 AM

PANELISTS

Glen Kozak, NYRA

Jim Pendergest, Keeneland

A panel of racetrack superintendents provide owners insight of maintaining dirt, turf and synthetic racetrack surfaces. Also insights from the jockey and trainer perspectives.

________

PANEL 6 – Owners & Trainers

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM

MODERATOR

Gabby Gaudet

PANELISTS

Jack Knowlton, Owner, and  Barclay Tagg, Trainer

Don Little Jr., Owner, and Jimmy Jerkins, Trainer

Jaime Roth, Owner, and Brad Cox, Trainer

New & Longtime Owners along with their trainers discuss – What makes a successful trainer/owner relationship. Owners and their trainers talk about their Saratoga experiences  and their view about the future of racing.

Sponsored by Spendthrift Farm.

Tuesday Lunch ~ 1863 Club

11:45 AM to 1:00 PM

Enjoy lunch on Tuesday in the 1863 Club

Lunch Sponsored by Keeneland

________

PANEL 7 – Jockeys

1:15 PM to 2:30 PM

MODERATOR

Acacia Courtney

PANELISTS

Chris McCarron

Gary Stevens

Richard Migliore

A panel of jockeys give insight on winning at Saratoga. Also talk about the decisions and dangers of being a jockey and the characteristics needed to be a successful jockey.

Sponored by Daily Racing Form.

________

PANEL 8 – Finding Your Thoroughbred Athletes

2:45 PM to 3:45 PM

MODERATOR

Christina Bossinakis

PANELISTS

Gary Contessa

Gatewood Bell

Liz Crowe

Sol Kumin

A team comprised of owners, agents, veterinarian and trainers talk about what goes into “Finding the Athletes” at sales, private purchases and through claiming.  Includes discussion about biomechanics.

Sponsored by Sequel New York Florida

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PANEL 9 – Aftercare

3:50 PM to 4:45 PM

MODERATOR

Kristin Leshney, Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP)

PANELISTS

Erin Crady, Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA)

Allison Cherkosly, Saratoga War Horse

Michael Blowen, Old Friends

Rick Schosberg, Thoroughbred Aftercare Association (TAA)

Learn more about planning Aftercare for your racehorses.

Sponsored by Coolmore America

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WEDNESDAY, JULY 22

Breakfast on the Porch at Saratoga

9:00 AM

Enjoy breakfast on the porch at Saratoga racecourse before visiting the backside barn area.

Sponsored by The Breeders’ Cup

Saratoga Backside Barn Tours

10:00 AM

Guided tours of the historic and picturesque Saratoga barn area

Day At The Races

12:00 PM

Enjoy an afternoon of racing at Saratoga including lunch.

Sponsored by NYRA.

Times and dates are subject to change.

REGISTRATION for the 2020 conference ownerview.com.

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership such as trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.

The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site was launched in May 2012.

Additional information about OwnerView is available at ownerview.com or by contacting Gary Falter at gfalter@jockeyclub.com or (859) 224-2803.

Past The Wire Staff

“For a unique and real perspective on horse racing, I read Jonathan Stettin’s column Past the Wire.” Bob Baffert, Multiple Triple Crown winner, Eclipse Award winner, Hall of Fame Champion Trainer

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