09/10/2009 11:00PM

Breeders' Cup seeks long-term strategy


The board of directors of Breeders' Cup Ltd. will be asked to approve a strategic plan that addresses the organization's direction for the next five to 10 years by the end of the second quarter of 2010, the organization announced Friday.

If the plan is approved by the end of June next year, Breeders' Cup will seek to implement the plan at the start of 2011, the organization said. Breeders' Cup officials have been working on the plan for the past several months in order to address significant changes inside and outside the organization that have altered its finances and mission.

"The board was unanimous that the development of our long-term operating plan is a critical undertaking for our organization that we expect will also have a substantial impact on the industry as a whole," said William S. Farish Jr., the chairman of the board, in a statement.

Over the past 12 months, Breeders' Cup's financial position has rapidly deteriorated, and the company is currently operating at a deficit of approximately $5 million to $6 million because of a contraction in the bloodstock market and declining revenues from its operations. As a result, the company is finding it difficult to pare its costs to address a rapid run-up in purse distributions as part of an expansion of its event to two days and 14 races, up from one day and eight races just four years ago.

Breeders' Cup officials have said that the strategic plan will seek to address the company's financial position and alter the organization's relationship with racetracks so that the industry will more fully cooperate on promoting stakes races leading up to the year-end event. However, officials have declined to offer details on the plan as it is being developed.