Jockeys, Trainers, on Synthetics Panels

Jockeys, Trainers, on Synthetics Panels
Photo: Benoit
Synthetic surfaces will be the topic of discussion July 29, 2008 at Fasig-Tipton Co. Inc. in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Edited press release

As part of an ongoing analysis into the feasibility of installing synthetic surfaces at racetracks located in New York State, the  New York State Task Force on Retired Racehorse has invited segments of the racing industry to a one-day forum to discuss the issues associated with artificial surfaces. 

Five moderated panels compromised of jockeys, trainers, track officials, veterinarians, and other industry analysts will be on hand July 29, 2008 at Fasig-Tipton Co. Inc. in Saratoga Springs, New York to provide insight and answer questions from task force members. The Forum is open to the public.

A 13-member Task Force, co-chaired by New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker and New York State Racing and Wagering Board Chairman Daniel Hogan, was established by law last year and has been charged with investigating the feasibility of creating a larger market and alternative employment opportunities for retired race horses, as well as studying the issues surrounding the installation of artificial turf on race courses.

“Safety is now at the forefront of issues affecting the racing industry and it is incumbent upon this task force to undertake a cost-benefit analysis to help determine if these artificial surfaces are the best and safest route for our horses and the jockeys who ride them,” said Hogan.

“If New York wants to continue to offer the best and safest racing anywhere in the world then we need to find ways to help reduce injuries as they arise and keep horses running more productively and safer over time.  I look forward to hearing the comments from the racing industry as we move forward in improving our tracks and safeguarding our horses," said Hooker. 

The session is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and begins with a one hour panel discussion made up of track officials and superintendents. The four other panels to follow includes one for veterinarians, trainers, jockeys, and industry analysts and researchers. The forum is open to the public.

The program will be offered as an on-demand webcast through a link on the New York State Racing and Wagering Board’s website (

Panel Schedule:

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 am   Management/Track Officials  - Ben Liebman (moderator)
Panelists: Charlie Hayward, Bob Elliston, Irwin Dreidger, Sally Goswell

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.   Veterinarians  - Ben Liebman (moderator)
Panelists: Dr. Mark Cheney, Dr. Rick Arthur, (To Be Determined)

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.      Lunch Break

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.       Trainers – Mike Kane (moderator)
Panelists: Dale Romans, Nick Zito, Todd Pletcher, Mark Casse

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.      Jockeys - Joe Clancy –  (moderator)
Panelists: Edgar Prado, John Velazquez, Javier Castellano, Richard Migliore

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Researchers -  Brian Zweig– (moderator)
Panelists: Dr. Sue Stover, Dr. Mick Peterson, Dr. Mark Hurtig

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