CARL HAMILTON: Thank you, Stuart. Good morning, everyone. I’m honored to be here today to kick off the Round Table Conference and present the activities of The Jockey Club over the last year.
The focus in the Thoroughbred industry over the last few months has been the implementation of HISA. At the 2014 edition of this conference, Dinny Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club at the time, announced our intention to commit resources to supporting federal legislation that would establish a uniform medication anti-doping program across the United States.
The result of the years-long efforts was HISA. The Jockey Club is committed to working with Lisa Lazarus and her team to assist HISA. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to hearing an update from Lisa later about their groundbreaking organization.
HISA’s success will depend on effective tools to collect, manage, and share data. The Jockey Club and InCompass Solutions has modified its Track Manager system to assist tracks in meeting HISA regulations for record keeping.
One of those modifications is EquiTAPS.
(EquiTAPS video shown.)
Now, additionally, Equibase provided HISA with data that assisted them in formulating strategies ahead of their rollout. The Jockey Club companies will continue to work with HISA to develop additional tools and integration to support its implementation.
Now, beyond the very important work associated with HISA, The Jockey Club supports many initiatives to improve the industry. The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program, known as T.I.P., recognizes and rewards the versatility of Thoroughbreds in second careers.
The popularity of T.I.P. demonstrates the demand for Thoroughbreds in the sport horse world and their potential for success in second or third careers.
The Jockey Club’s Equine Injury Database, or EID, began collecting data in 2009 to track equine fatality rates on a national scale. Since the EID’s inception in 2009, the rate of fatal injury has dropped more than 30%, a testament to the collective work by our industry to make a safer sport.
Now, in an effort to promote horse racing to new audiences, The Jockey Club’s America’s Best Racing, or ABR, is committed to year-round national promotion of the sport. Last year, more than 1,100 original stories were posted on ABR’s website.
In 2011, McKinsey & Company reported that there were only 43 hours of racing on national television. Committed to growing this number, ABR launched a number of initiatives and sponsorships aimed at increasing television coverage of racing. I’m pleased to report that nearly 900 hours of racing were broadcast in 2021, and we anticipate that number to grow in 2022.
During the height of the pandemic, ABR needed to pivot its marketing strategy. It found success connecting with a younger audience through livestreaming shows that can be watched on mobile and desktop devices, and has established formal relationships with more than half a dozen racing organizations.
For the first time this year, ABR partnered with TwinSpires to host the only official on-site livestream show at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby week, attracting more than 200,000 views.
ABR’s live shows have covered Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races across the country, and prep races for the Kentucky Derby.
In partnership with Hipica TV, ABR helped deliver the Breeders’ Cup En Vivo show which was held entirely in Spanish and attracted more than 280,000 views.
Additionally, ABR launched A Stake in Stardom, whereby two influencers were given small ownership percentages in horses owned by West Point Thoroughbreds. With the opportunity to experience the sport and lifestyle of Thoroughbred racing up close, and attend major racing events while sharing these experiences with their followers.
Now, as the Thoroughbred industry’s official racing database, Equibase continues to seek ways to enhance its repository of information and present the data it collects in novel, useful ways.
Earlier this year, Equibase formalized a relationship with Pramana Labs, an article intelligence company. Through access to Equibase’s data, Pramana’s software can produce countless racing statistics in natural language. The initial focus of this partnership will be to offer these advance capabilities and statlines reports to stakeholders, such as media partners, racetracks, and online wagering companies.
Furthermore, Equibase continues to make progress in automated tracking. Currently 20 tracks, including three harness tracks, have installed the E-GPS system, with eight of those tracks now fully or partially utilizing our hybrid system, which is an integrated solution that provides the accuracy of traditional beam timing with the versatility and additional data of GPS.
We continue to work with our partners, Total Performance Data and GMAX, who we featured at last year’s Round Table, to maximize the potential of their tracking technologies to enhance the data that we make available.
Next, The Jockey Club Information systems, or TJCIS, was our inaugural commercial company, and through its cataloging department has played an integral role in supporting sales companies since 1988.
Today, we continue to support Thoroughbred auctions and sales markets through cataloging services and the Equineline Sales Catalog App. The flexibility that the app provides in distributing supplemental entries after printed catalogs are distributed is especially useful as we continue to see a positive trend in the number of horses of racing age and digital sales.
Last year, more than 150 sales from around the world were made available on the sale catalog app, and more than 80,000 sales were downloaded.
Customers continue to migrate to TJCIS’s cloud-based farm management software, with more than 150 farms now using the online program. TJCIS is working with a leading online payment platform and plans to provide capabilities for electronic bill payment by credit card or ACH transactions via the cloud-based software.
In 2015, as many of you know, TJCIS purchased a majority interest in BloodHorse. Last year, the frequency of the magazine changed from a weekly to a monthly publication, and the focus of the magazine transitioned from industry news and reporting of race results to feature-based articles.
Recently, BloodHorse+, its online subscription service that was introduced last year as well, was bundled with BloodHorse magazine subscriptions featuring a variety of premium content and added value that readers have appreciated.
And lastly, I would like to acknowledge our two charities, The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation, and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. You will learn more about the Safety Net Foundation in a few minutes.
Grayson’s traditionally North America’s leading source of private funding for equine medical research that benefits all breeds of horses. In June, we hosted the Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration in New York City where we honored Dell Hancock, chairman of Grayson, with the Dinny Phipps Award, which was initiated by The Jockey Club member, Ambassador Earle Mack.
Our charities provide critical support to humans and equines, and their work would not be possible without the continued support of the Thoroughbred industry.
Spearheaded by the implementation of HISA, The Jockey Club is moving full speed ahead with exciting projects that we believe will be meaningful impacts on the future of our sport.
Thank you for your time today. Enjoy the rest of this morning’s program.
STUART JANNEY III: Thank you, Carl. Just so everybody knows, we will release the foal crop estimate in September when we have more data and can provide a better estimate.