07/12/2017 9:21AM

Round Table speakers to include Stonestreet's Banke, former NBA executive Jacobson


Thoroughbred owner and breeder Barbara Banke and a former senior executive of the National Basketball Association will be among the featured speakers at this year’s Jockey Club Round Table on Matters Pertaining to Racing, The Jockey Club announced on Wednesday.

Banke, the owner of Stonestreet Stables, which plays both private and commercial roles in the Thoroughbred industry, will speak about “the challenges facing the Thoroughbred industry and offer recommendations for the future,” according to a release from The Jockey Club. The 65th Round Table is scheduled for Aug. 13 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The former NBA executive, Rachel Jacobson, is expected to discuss her experience with securing sponsorships for the basketball league and “how the racing industry might maximize its sponsorship opportunities to grow its fan base and increase revenue streams,” the release said. Jacobson spent more than 20 years at the NBA’s headquarters in New York.

Banke and Jacobson are part of a quartet of speakers whom The Jockey Club described as “featured speakers.” The organization typically bills one speaker as its keynote, but it will not have that designation this year, a spokesperson said.

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The other featured speakers are Amanda Elliott, who was named the chairwoman of the Victoria Racing Club in Australia early this year, and Ben Vonwiller, a partner in McKinsey & Co.’s Global Sports and Gaming practice, which has conducted studies for The Jockey Club in the past. Vonwiller is expected to discuss how racing can use its data to improve the scheduling of races and improve handle.

In total, this year’s lineup of speakers at the Round Table will include five women, including Stacie Clark, the operations consultant for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, and Cathy O’Meara, the coordinator of the Racing Officials Accreditation Program.

The Round Table program will be presided over by the organization’s chairman, Stuart Janney, who is expected to provide opening and closing remarks. The Jockey Club’s president and chief operating officer, James Gagliano, will provide the organization’s customary report on its activities over the past year.

In addition, Shawn Smeallie, who was recently hired as the executive director for the Coalition of Horseracing Integrity, a lobbying organization pushing for a federal bill seeking national oversight of racing’s regulations and drug testing, will provide an update on the organization’s efforts. The Jockey Club is a founding member of the coalition.