JC / Railbird

Vaguely Reported Plan Goes Nowhere

In late January, the Racing Post reported:

A group of leading American breeders and owners have joined major racetrack operators and high-profile industry organisations in a series of closely guarded meetings over the past six months to plan what they hope will combat the difficulties facing US racing.

Few details were revealed. “We cannot disclose what is being done, not that it’s any CIA secret,” said Satish Sanan, one of the group’s organizers. “In our industry, most initiatives get killed before they get started.”

So, hush-hush went the work, which apparently has come to naught:

… a major initiative designed to bring stakeholders together to generate perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the Thoroughbred industry abruptly hit a wall. Some who were involved in the project for about a year said the plan derailed and crashed because of refusal by some to relinquish control; others said it had become too complicated and used unreliable financial estimates.

Reading Blood-Horse reporter Tom LaMarra’s piece, linked above, is like trying to look through muddy water. All that’s clear is that the industry’s factions continue to work at odds, and that’s not news.


It’s probably foolish to expect the existing players to work together. At the race track level, Churchill is a gambling and internet services company that happens to have some race tracks attached. Stronach can’t work with anyone else, whether partners or employees; and NYRA is hamstrung by having to go to Albany every time it wants to change the toilet paper in the rest rooms. It’d be nice to see a serious new player in the game, with some ideas about how to put racing at the center and make it pay for itself.

Posted by Steve Zorn on September 15, 2010 @ 10:34 am

As much as I sometimes wish racing had a powerful centralized office to run things, it’s the fragmentation that would allow “a serious new player …” to emerge. I agree, it’d be nice to see such an outfit. Who can we recruit?

Posted by Jessica on September 16, 2010 @ 7:37 am

[…] I’m not sure about involving the feds, but I am certain that Satish Sanan, or anyone else with ambitions of fixing racing, must give up working in secrecy. […]

Posted by Jessica Chapel / Railbird v2 - The Way Forward on September 30, 2010 @ 11:20 am