07/26/2016 9:24AM

Hong Kong executive keynote speaker at Round Table


Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the chief executive of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, will be the keynote speaker for this year’s Jockey Club Round Table on Matters Pertaining to Racing on Aug. 14 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the Jockey Club announced on Tuesday.

Engelbrecht-Bresges, who will deliver a prepared speech entitled “The Journey to World Class Racing and Success via Customer Centricity,” leads one of the most powerful racing entities in the world. The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a non-profit that runs the Chinese province’s two racetracks while also setting and enforcing the jurisdiction’s rules and regulations, a dual role unlike any other racing organization in the western world. The company generates billions of dollars in revenue from its racing operations, with its two racetracks posting the highest average daily handle figures for any racing jurisdiction in the world, by far.

This will be the 64th Round Table, an annual invitation-only conference lasting two hours on a Sunday morning. The Jockey Club typically sets a lineup of speakers for the conclave that reflect the organization’s current priorities, and in recent years, keynote speakers have focused on medication policies and drug testing, dovetailing with the Jockey Club’s current support for federal legislation that would shift responsibility for racing regulation from states to a non-profit company, the United States Anti-Doping Agency, backed by the federal bill.

The bill has been introduced to the House of Representatives but has not had a formal hearing. The sponsors of the current version of the bill, Reps. Andy Barr, a Republican of Kentucky, and Paul Tonko, a Democrat representing upstate New York, will open the conference with an update to the bill, the Jockey Club said. The two legislators have said that they expect a version to be introduced to the Senate this year, but opposition to the effort is still strong from some powerful constituencies in racing.

Later in the session, Jeff Novitzky, the vice president of athlete health and performance for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, will give a speech in which he will “share some of his experiences in the anti-doping arena.” The UFC, which has recently had a number of high-profile athletes test positive for powerful performance-enhancing substances, hired the United States Anti-Doping Agency last year to conduct its drug-testing program.

Other speakers in the line-up include Kip Levin, the chief executive of Betfair US and TVG, who will provide an update on the company’s experience so far with the betting exchange it launched this summer in New Jersey, the first of its kind in the U.S.; and Christopher Kay, the chief executive officer of the New York Racing Association, who will discuss NYRA’s recent business strategies, the Jockey Club said. In addition, Julie Broadway, the new president of the American Horse Council, which represents equine interests in Washington, D.C., will “discuss the mission and priorities” of the AHC, the Jockey Club said.

This year’s Round Table will be presided over by Stuart Janney III, who took over as chairman of the Jockey Club last year just before last year’s Round Table conference following the retirement of Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps, who had been chairman since 1983. Phipps, one of the most influential persons in racing’s modern era, died earlier this year at the age of 75.