07/12/2005 11:00PM

ESPN exec to speak at Spa


Mark Shapiro, the executive vice president of programming and production for ESPN-TV, will be the keynote speaker at this year's Jockey Club Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing on Aug. 21 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., The Jockey Club announced Wednesday.

According to a release from The Jockey Club, Shapiro's speech will focus on the "changing landscape of sports television and the networks' extensive coverage and promotion of Thoroughbred racing."

ESPN's relationship with racing has increased dramatically over the past five years, and this year, the network signed an eight-year agreement with the Breeders' Cup and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association to broadcast the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships beginning in 2006.

Other scheduled speakers include D.G. Van Clief, commissioner of the NTRA; Dr. Dan Catlin, founder and director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, a drug-testing lab accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency; Greg Means, a founding partner of the lobbying company Alpine Group, which is retained by the NTRA; Tim Smith, president of Friends of New York Racing, a racing industry advocacy group in New York; and Charles Hayward, president of the New York Racing Association.