There’s racing this week in New York, Kentucky, Florida, and California, but the eyes and attention of many in the racing world are turned southwest, to Tucson, Arizona and the annual symposium of the Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona.
Those unlucky enough to be tethered elsewhere and missing this event can find coverage of the proceedings in the usual industry publications; I haven’t seen much in the blogosphere yet, but the Tweets are coming fast and furious, especially if you’re a follower of @USHorseman.
Below are some of his (I’m assuming he’s a he—Horseman, after all) Tweets from yesterday, slightly edited:
On “Exposing Yourself to Strangers,” featuring W. David Tompkins, Jr., senior vice president and CMO, Churchill Downs, Inc. and Mike McCarley, senior vice president, strategic marketing, communications and promotions for NBC Sports and Olympics:
McCarley: It is all about broadening the audience by finding what is
relevant to them.
McCarley: We tried to focus on food, fashion, celebrity appeal, and entertaining to draw more female viewers to the Kentucky Derby.
McCarley: NBC knew that [the Derby] could not be taken out of the
production, still must be a major focus.
Tompkins: Women are extremely important to the future of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.
From “A New Perspective on Racing – How Times Change,” featuring Gerard Cunningham, U.S. president of Betfair:
Cunningham: How many hours per week do you think about horse racing?
Cunningham: We bring a very sharp spotlight to
Cunningham: We don’t know what the future is in horse
“Owners are generous enough to run most of their horses while losing money, for
The conference began on Monday, and the first day focused on officiating, with a program hosted by the Racing Officials Accreditation Program and the Race Track Industry Program. Part of the program focused on drug testing, and Tom LaMarra’s report in the Blood-Horse is titled provocatively: “Can Public, Fans Understand Drug Testing?”
High profile trainers Kiaran McLaughlin and Tom Albertrani both recently began serving 30-day suspensions for medication positives in their horses; Rick Dutrow, too, is serving a 30-day suspension. In McLaughlin’s case, the amount detected was less than one nanogram. Albertrani claims that he never administered the medication, a tranquilizer, found in his horse Gozzip Girl.
LaMarra asks, “How are the public and media supposed to understand [drug testing] when some industry participants can’t make sense of it?” He goes on to say, “For the most part, the general public, and even racing fans, don’t understand what a positive test really means.”
Check out the article for an elucidation of the problems with current testing programs, and some recommendations for improving them.
Bad weather cancels today’s card at Aqueduct…does this mean that winter is officially here?