Sanan: Listen to Message, Understand Context
by Tom LaMarra
Date Posted: 3/10/2010 8:44:33 AM
Last Updated: 3/11/2010 10:35:41 AM

Satish Sanan
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Breeders’ Cup board member Satish Sanan said March 9 he has reached out to several industry officials he may have offended with comments made on a satellite radio program, but it’s time to move on and work to improve the economics for Thoroughbred racing.

Sanan, on the March 2 edition of “At the Races With Steve Byk” on SIRIUS/XM, offered his views on the ongoing efforts by Breeders’ Cup to hammer out a plan for future host sites of the World Championships. Sanan, in response to questions from callers, shed some light on what Cup officials are considering and why in the context of a strategic plan.

Sanan said he “made peace with two or three industry constituents,” including the heads of Churchill Downs Inc. and the New York Racing Association.

“I wear my passion on my sleeve,” said Sanan, a longtime racing fan who has invested about $150 million as a Thoroughbred owner and breeder. “I’m candid, and when I’m too passionate, my words come in the way of my message. People really need to listen to the message I’m trying to convey.

“Nobody wants this industry to succeed more than I do.”

Sanan said he may have misspoken on the radio program, but also said: “Closed-door discussions don’t necessarily lead to the best opinions.”

Sanan said it’s important for Breeders’ Cup to help the public understand whatever host-site decision it makes and to present it properly. He again said no decision has been ratified by the board.

Byk, who hosts the radio show, said Sanan owes no one an apology. He noted public reaction was largely supportive of Sanan publicly discussing the issues.

“In my mind, it’s behind me,” Sanan said. Racing, he said, is in a “death spiral,” but there are “great minds” in the industry that need to work together to bring about positive change. "We're not going to survive if we continue the way we are."



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