Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand
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Author:  AfleetTreet [ August 15th, 2011, 1:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

This looks like a GOOD thing to me....More netowrk TV converage is what we need for sure. I like how they are finally addressing some of the tissues listed here instead of waiting things out or hoping the improvements will miraculously appear. I hope their plans are successful.

(Courtesy of Bloodhorse)

Jockey Club to Lead Racing's Plan for Growth

ByTom LaMarra

Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2011 1:59 PM


The Jockey Club Aug. 14 announced a nine-step plan for the betterment of horse racing and breeding and expects to spend millions of dollars over the next five years to implement it.
The recommendations, publicly released during the Round Table Conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., stem from a McKinsey & Company report titled “Driving Sustainable Growth for Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding.” Many of the recommendations have been discussed before but not implemented on a comprehensive scale.
The nine recommendations involve fewer, better race days; innovative wagering platforms; integrated rewards systems; improved television coverage for racing; free-to-play online games to educate the public; social games to develop interest; safety improvements; new ownership tools; and best practices at racetracks.
The Jockey Club will commit five years’ worth of funding to implement the recommendations, Jockey Club president and chief operating officer Jim Gagliano said. McKinsey & Company will remain involved in the effort, he said.
Dan Singer, director of McKinsey’s media and entertainment practice, said there are two constraints in the industry: no single governing body and a lack of substantial capital. He said there is “no real way “ to create a league office with broad powers and acknowledged the funding issues, but said the McKinsey recommendations can be accomplished under the current industry structure.
“We’re convinced racing has the potential to innovate much faster than it has,” Singer said.
McKinsey, which began the project earlier this year, said it considered 600,000 races over 11 years and conducted about 1,800 interviews. The company said if changes aren’t made soon, by 2020 pari-mutuel handle will decline by 25%, owners’ losses will jump 50%, and only 25% fewer racetracks will be viable.
“There is substantial risk for these factors to be even worse,” said Michael Lamb, a principal in the McKinsey media entertainment practice.
The report acknowledged that 26% of core bettors consider pari-mutuel takeout a “top two concern,” but fewer than 2% of most fans know about takeout. Thus, the report makes no recommendations on an issue that has boiled over this year, particularly in California.
“We prefer rebates as the method to address the price-sensitive bettor,” Singer said.
McKinsey offered a mixed message on fan development, particularly in regard to television and advance deposit wagering.
The company advocates improved TV coverage of horse racing, noting it must be "economically sustainable” and consistent as far as when it is offered. Low television exposure is hurting fan development, Singer said, noting Thoroughbred racing's presence on TV has fallen from about 175 hours in 2003 to about 43 hours in 2011. The percentage of fan who sadi an important or exciting race on TV was the most important reason they got involved in the sport fell from 9% 30 years ago to 0% over the past year.
"I can tell you as a consultant that without TV you're not going to grow a new fan base," Singer said.
ADW systems, launched more than 10 years ago, account for roughly 12%-15% of total handle in the United States each year; McKinsey estimates it could reach 44% in 10 years. But the company also said ADW is not attracting new fans to horse racing, and in fact is “frustrating” for beginners.
“The system has been built for experienced bettors,” Singer said.
Interestingly, the percentage of revenue racing gets from ADW to put on the show wasn’t addressed at the Round Table, though McKinsey suggested racetracks should operate their own ADW platforms so they can retain a larger share of revenue.
The report touched on exchange wagering, which is not yet available in the United States. McKinsey believes exchange betting has the potential to attract new patrons; Singer said the platform is “unlikely to be profitable at a takeout rate under 10%.”
The industry also was told to quickly implement free-to-play games—there are 32 million fantasy sports players in the U.S.—and develop social games along the lines of “Farmville,” a game played every day by 30 million people.
Gagliano said The Jockey Club already is working on a televised racing series and is in discussions with major networks; is building online games; and is developing a tool for racetracks to better schedule races and post times. He said the recommendations can work because horse racing’s “potential, appeal, and core values are still strong.”
In follow-up comments after the Round Table, Gagliano said the five-year plan is a “multimillion-dollar” project for The Jockey Club. He also said the organization fully intends to lead, not facilitate.
“Where there is overlap we will work with others (in the industry),” Gagliano said. “We view ourselves as a leader, and we want to be a leader. This is our obligation. We’re taking the lead where we think we need to take the lead.”
Some of the recommendations involve programs that have been or are being handled by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. After listening to the McKinsey presentation, NTRA president and chief executive officer Alex Waldrop said it outlined challenges being faced by all industry organizations.
“All of us who have as our mission the growth of Thoroughbred racing have to find ways to support these initiatives,” Waldrop said. “We had input (into the McKinsey report) and look forward to sitting down with other industry stakeholders to see how we can support the plan.”

Author:  AfleetTreet [ August 15th, 2011, 1:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

(Courtesy of Bloodhorse)

'Medication-Free' Horse Racing Called Goal

By Tom LaMarra

Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2011 3:51 PM

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

The Jockey Club has reiterated its calls for a phased-in ban on the anti-bleeding medication Salix but made clear Aug. 14 it wants “medication-free” horse racing.
In a related matter, the organization said it will deny The American Stud Book privileges to individuals with substantive medication offenses in racing.
The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee, which already has made 11 recommendations to date, offered a few more during the Round Table Conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. They deal with drug classifications, laboratory standards, and uniform penalties—issues discussed at the 2010 conference.
The use of Salix—formerly called Lasix—and adjunct bleeder medications by far have been the most publicized and debated issue in racing this year. Stuart Janney III, Jockey Club vice chairman and chairman of the Thoroughbred Safety Committee, said it’s time for the industry to make changes.
“We respect the pro-Lasix opinion, but The Jockey Club believes horses should compete free of medication,” Janney said. “We recommend measured steps on the road to medication-free racing.”
The Jockey Club noted action taken by Breeders’ Cup and the American Graded Stakes Committee in regard to banning Salix in select 2-year-olds stakes in 2012 and recommends a crop-by-crop phase-in plan to do away with race-day Salix. It will be up to regulators in each racing jurisdiction, however, to implement such a ban.
Also, a number of trainers have voiced concern over a race-day Salix ban and its potential impact on equine health and field size. They support a ban on adjunct bleeder medications being sought by the RMTC, a group of 25 industry stakeholders, but draw the line on Salix.
The safety committee introduced the “2011 Reformed Racing Medication Rules,” which rely on input from various racing jurisdictions, the Association of Racing Commissioners International, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.
The Jockey Club recommends a simplified two-category drug classification system consisting of controlled therapeutic medications and prohibited substances; regulatory limits and/or administration guidelines for all controlled therapeutic medications; a requirement that all drug-testing laboratories be accredited by the RMTC; enhanced race-day security measures; greater coordination and mutual enforcement of penalties among racing jurisdictions; and stricter penalties for prohibited substances and repeat offenders.
The Thoroughbred Safety Committee issued two recommendations: adoption of the revised rules by RCI, and restructuring of a veterinary fee schedule that favors administration of drugs over diagnostics and preventative measures.
“Veterinarians have shared their concern that the majority of their revenue is derived from the administration and dispensing of medication while receiving little or no compensation for examinations, diagnostics, or other professional serves,” Janney said. “Is it any wonder that our industry is criticized for being overmedicated?
“We agree with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, which addressed this very subject in a white paper, that such a revenue model is fundamentally flawed. Veterinary fee structures should place emphasis upon the value of professional services rather than the administration and dispensing of medication, and further illustrates the importance and need for good communication between the owner, trainer and veterinarian.”
Janney said there are “significant challenges” but “many people in this sport have grown weary of the pace of change.” He said horse racing “doesn’t need federal intervention to set the right course.”
As for The American Stud Book, The Jockey Club earlier denied privileges to those found to have mistreated horses and is extending that to medication violators with significant offenses.
“Consistent with application of rules concerning those found to have mistreated Thoroughbreds, under Rule 19 The Jockey Club may now deny privileges to The American Stud Book to individuals determined to have been either the subject of medication violations involving certain classes of drugs with no legitimate use in racing, or have been determined to have violated medication rules three or more times in a 365-day period,” Jockey Club chairman Ogden Mills Phipps said.
Phipps, who again made the customary opening comments to the Round Table, said there is a “deep level of concern about the state of Thoroughbred racing. We are no doubt facing some of the most critical issues in our industry.”

Author:  Hailtoreason [ August 15th, 2011, 2:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

I'm totally in favor of The Jockey Club leading the way with regard to implementing drug free racing. They have the stewardship of The Thoroughbred Stud Book in North American and with it comes Rules & Regulations to govern the breed. I'm confident they will get the job done. I question the idea of getting involved with other aspects of racing, etc. at this time. Just taking on the role of achieving drug free racing is a huge complicated task and will take all the resources they can muster to make it happen.

Author:  AfleetTreet [ August 15th, 2011, 4:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

(Courtesy of Daily Racing Form)

Racetrack executives encouraged by Jockey Club's $10 million marketing commitment

Matt Hegarty

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The Jockey Club’s commitment to underwrite a television series in 2012 and pay for the launch of a social-networking game and mock-wagering Internet site was welcomed by racetrack executives on Monday, one day after the organization announced the projects at the Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing.

The Jockey Club will commit approximately $10 million over five years to the projects, including the costs of a report prepared by McKinsey & Company that was released at the Round Table. The projects are being funded in an attempt to reverse an erosion of racing’s fan base, officials said, largely on the recommendation of the McKinsey report, which said that racing needs a greater presence on national television and should introduce more people to the game in simple, low-cost ways.
Jack Liebau, the president of Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., said that the recommendations in the report would provide guidance to California racing officials as they consider how to spend the state’s annual $5 million allocation toward the marketing of California racing. Some of that money, Liebau said, should go to television broadcasts of races from the state’s tracks and other portions should go toward promoting the Jockey Club’s free-to-play site after it is launched.
“One of the big problems that racing has always had is the intimidation factor,” Liebau said. “[Free-to-play sites] have been very successful for poker, in helping people learn the game, learn how to play it right. I think that’s the sort of thing that’s got to work.”
Chris Scherf, the executive vice president of Thoroughbred Racing Associations, a racetrack trade group, said that the TRA would work with bet-processing suppliers to simplify betting interfaces and would add several topics to the TRA’s annual simulcasting conference relating to the recommendations. He characterized the recommendations as “practical steps” that would be unlikely to create significant reversals in racing’s popularity, but he said that the industry would be remiss if it failed to embrace the measures.
“Anybody who believes that we can maintain the status quo right now is delusional,” Scherf said. “None of these recommendations are a magic bullet, but they certainly give us a way to take incremental steps to building the fan base.”
The Jockey Club hired McKinsey after precipitous declines the past three years in the sport’s core economic indicators, including handle, bloodstock prices, and the size of the foal crop. The report’s recommendations were largely focused on small measures that could help stall the slides, in an acknowledgment that the “capital constraints” facing the industry’s beleaguered racetracks precluded far more expensive undertakings such as large-scale improvements to racing facilities and national marketing campaigns aimed at combating negative perceptions of racing shared by large segments of the public.
The report included several sobering statistics, including the result of a survey of 1,800 racing fans in which only 46 percent of the respondents said they would recommend racing to other people, compared with 82 percent of baseball fans and 81 percent of football fans. However, the self-loathing of horseplayers seemed to be a trait shared by other gamblers – the same survey indicated that only 55 percent of poker players would recommend that other people follow the game.
The survey indicated that more than 65 percent of all fans were introduced to the sport by going to a live racetrack, by far the largest reason cited – the next highest was “other,” at 13 percent, followed by “family has always been involved in racing,” at 8 percent. But the report did not offer any recommendations for improving the ontrack racing experience, aside from citing a litany of complaints offered by survey respondents about their negative experiences at the track, with the top three complaints being dirty bathrooms, poorly maintained facilities, and low-quality food and food service.
The report’s authors, Dan Singer and Mike Lamb, contended that racing’s low visibility among the general public was related in part to the sport’s television coverage, citing a decline in the number of national television broadcast hours from 175 in 2003 to 43 in 2010. The statistic, however, excluded the thousands of hours in annual horse racing broadcasting on Television Games Network and HRTV, two competing channels that are available on satellite and cable systems. The authors said that the TVG and HRTV broadcasts did not appeal to people who are not already core racing fans and that a renewed presence on national television was important to draw more fans into the sport.
Because of the recommendation, the Jockey Club said it was exploring a number of ideas for a television series in 2012, ranging from a reality-type show to a series of televised races. Following the Round Table, James Gagliano, the Jockey Club’s president and chief operating officer, said that the Jockey Club was already in discussions with major television networks to broadcast the series, but he said that planners had yet to decide on what format the show would take.
Closer to home, the report recommended that racetracks more closely examine how races are scheduled to avoid overlaps, especially for graded stakes, which draw the highest amount of handle relative to other classes of races. The Jockey Club already has a tool in the suite of software it has developed for racing offices that alerts racing secretaries to overlapping races, but Jockey Club officials said during the Round Table that they planned to improve the scheduling tool to illustrate handle gains that might be possible if races were re-scheduled farther afield of competing races.
Charles Hayward, the chief executive of the New York Racing Association, said that he found the recommendation about avoiding overlaps to be an important aspect of the McKinsey report, citing an analysis that NYRA’s staff had conducted. And it was particularly germane for NYRA: the day before the Round Table, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes at NYRA’s Saratoga Race Course went off only moments after the horses in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes crossed the wire at Arlington Park, in large part because of unforeseen delays earlier on the Arlington Park card.
“If our track and Del Mar have a race that goes off within five minutes of each other, we probably both lose about 10 percent in handle,” Hayward said. “That’s definitely something we can improve on.”
Gagliano said after the Round Table that the Jockey Club was committed to funding the projects for the next five years, after which the organization would evaluate the results of its efforts.
“We’re confident that after the five years we’re going to see some growth in the numbers,” Gagliano said.

Author:  Hailtoreason [ August 16th, 2011, 4:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

The Jockey Club is going off in all directions and as a result will not do things properly. They should stick with what they know and do best.

"Closer to home, the report recommended that racetracks more closely examine how races are scheduled to avoid overlaps, especially for graded stakes, which draw the highest amount of handle relative to other classes of races. The Jockey Club already has a tool in the suite of software it has developed for racing offices that alerts racing secretaries to overlapping races, but Jockey Club officials said during the Round Table that they planned to improve the scheduling tool to illustrate handle gains that might be possible if races were re-scheduled farther afield of competing races."

The above statement is really out of touch with the real world of horse racing. I designed a relationship database in the fall of 1985 and made my living with it for over 21 years all over the world before I retired. I received some requests from racing secretaries on scheduling of stakes so they wouldn't have a conflict with other programs. I also advised and produced individualized customized reports for owners, trainers and some bloodstock agents on anything and everything they wanted to know about any stake race in North America or the UK. I provided my people with every option possible when it came to planning a stakes scheduling program. The Jockey Club is 26 years behind the times and their stakes software program wouldn't even come close to mine. I'm sorry but I honestly believe The Jockey Club is making a huge mistake to squander more funds towards racing when off track betting, slots and increased takeout has already been wasted on another organization. It seems to me people get ahead of the horse's progress and look at the Thoroughbred racehorse as a push button machine and all the people have to do is write reports and bet on them. This is why the horse is chemically abused and forced to keep up when it needs time to rest and heal injuries.

Author:  AfleetTreet [ August 16th, 2011, 10:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

KUDOS on your above post HTR!!! I agree wholeheartedly about the expectations (and chemicals) in and of the horses! Thanks for your insight...let's just hope that the JC DOES make some improvement.

Author:  BigDonOKC [ August 16th, 2011, 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

this has been taken shape for the past year nothing new.

Author:  Hailtoreason [ August 16th, 2011, 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

AfleetTreet - Thank you. The breeders are asked to pay a fairly large amount of money to register their foals and to have that huge amount of money spent by the registering body of the breed on racing doesn't make sense. They could help the breeders more by reducing the costs to register their foals and maintain the registry. I remember years ago the NTRA was going to be the savior of racing and millions and millions of dollars have been thrown into the NTRA organization to promote Thoroughbred racing on television and various media. So, what happened? I see it mired in an aimless direction wasting millions of dollars trying miserably to promote the breed in the media and no one rarely sees a race or even cares about the sport. Look at how the Breeders Cup has squandered their nomination monies by watering down the original concept of 8 races and now having many more races. The public still has a hard time hearing or knowing what the NTRA is about. How often to you see a story relating to the Thoroughbred industry in your media? It is rare indeed. To ask anyone to watch any sport for hours and hours with the time constraints people have these days, is not practical or reasonable. It seems to me some people think if they throw enough money it will work and with all the millions thrown in. I'm not against money being used effectively and in a clear meaning full manner. I'm opposed to money being spent thoughtlessly without making sure all the intangible and tangible resources have been looked into to ensure the Thoroughbred horse, who is the main draw and star being looked after first and foremost.

Author:  Hailtoreason [ August 17th, 2011, 7:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

First of all I have respect for the people who work for and support The Jockey Club and I'm sure they are dedicated fine upstanding citizens. However, here is an example of how a big cumbersome institution can get its feet in a tangle by getting involved in areas they can't do a good job supporting. When The Jockey Club announced they were going to put $2 million a year into racing my first reaction was how the breeders might feel about it as they are going through very tough times and I'm thinking they may prefer a rebate of $60 on their registration fees instead. To register a foal the fee is $200 and based on TJC estimated 27,000 foal registrations for 2011 that works out to $5,400,000. Further, The Jockey Club estimates the 2012 foal registrations will be 24,700, a decline of 8.5% and at $200 foal registration each that works out to $4,940,000.
So here we have a shortfall of $460,000, almost 1/2 million dollars and The Jockey Club is committing itself and the breeders of registered foals to put up $2,000,000 annually for 5 years towards racing whereas they can only put up $1,540,000 in the first year and the plan hasn't even got off the ground. I'm sorry but I think that is just plain bad planning of such huge amounts of breeders' money.

Author:  fred p [ August 17th, 2011, 8:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

I liked "GO BABY GO"

Author:  Hailtoreason [ August 17th, 2011, 9:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

It wouldn't surprise if The Jockey Club re-thinks their idea after they get more grass roots input from the people who support them, namely the breeders.

Author:  AfleetTreet [ August 17th, 2011, 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

Me too but "HOOF HOOF HOORAY" is better! LOL!


Author:  fred p [ August 17th, 2011, 5:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

Cute Treet
Maybe that will be the next NTRA slogan!

Author:  Hailtoreason [ August 18th, 2011, 5:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Jockey Club has plans to improve and expand

I think everyone can see how the owners and trainers are looking at when, where and who they will run against to best suit their horse plus their horse's health can be dictated by the track surface. Whereas The Jockey Club is proposing arranging stakes to suit the mutual handle. Big difference in philosophy isn't there?

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