07/30/2010 1:58PM

Four to address industry concerns at Saratoga


Executives of four racing associations will discuss how racetracks are responding to the dramatic downward trends that have affected Thoroughbred racing over the past two years at the Jockey Club Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing on Aug. 22 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the Jockey Club said on Friday.

The speakers will be Nick Eaves, the chief executive of Woodbine in Toronto; Nick Nicholson, the chief executive of Keeneland in Lexington; Dennis Robinson, the chief executive of the parent company of Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands in New Jersey; and Steven Duncker, the chairman of the New York Racing Association, which operates Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga, according to the Jockey Club.

Since the beginning of 2008, handle on U.S. racing has dropped approximately 20 percent, while prices for bloodstock have fallen even more dramatically. In addition, foal crops have declined over the past two years, in an era in which horses continue to make fewer and fewer starts each year, a development that will put even more pressure on racetracks to card attractive betting races in the future.

The four executives will be preceded by Jim Gagliano, the Jockey Club’s chief operating officer, who will analyze the industry’s recent trends, according to the Jockey Club.

The Round Table is held every year by the Jockey Club in Saratoga Springs. The examination of industry trends will form the first half of the two-hour event. The second half will include presentations by speakers on the industry’s efforts to address safety concerns, the Jockey Club said.

For the first time, the Round Table will be broadcast live over the internet at the Jockey Club’s website this year.

– Matt Hegarty