Looking Ahead: Predictions for 2002

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J.J. Crupi, manager of Crupi's New Castle Farm in
Ocala, Fla.

Honestly, I think it's going to be like it always was. I think a good horse is still going to sell good. A mediocre horse, that's another story. I still think the top 10% will sell the same as they have year-in and year-out. However, it seems like there really isn't a market for a mediocre horse.

Carol Holden, owner/breeder and host of "Trackside" radio show
Wouldn't it be nice if all the state racing commissions got along? In reading about state racing commissions going back to the 1940s, at that point they only had the National Association of Racing Commissioners. This was in the early stages of the organization, and they were making every effort to get along. They realized they were in the position to mold the industry and form a national consensus. Here we are 60 years later and we have two groups of racing commissioners -- they've just compounded the problem.

- Members of the racing commissions will be appointed because they know something about racing rather than political affiliations.
- A continuing effort to work together will keep Colonial Downs viable. It's one area where people are working together for the betterment of racing and the whole industry.
- I predict more owners will race Virginia-breds in West Virginia and Maryland to take advantage of the state's program.

Steve Johnson, outgoing president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club
I want to see the centralization of our industry -- a central voice that's going to pull things together. An example is what I see happening with the University of Kentucky and mare reproductive loss syndrome. At first, we had so many people running out doing many different things. It was hard to try and bring everyone to one table and have a central discussion and a central forum, but it has happened.

Different voices and different opinions are good, but structure is what gives us strength and support, and I'd like to see that structure. I have hope for that.

Arnold Kirkpatrick, Central Kentucky real estate agent
I'm usually the most pessimistic guy you're going to find, but I think the horse market is in better shape than one would think from reading the sales results. And I think the market for farms is going to continue to be strong -- it may go down 10% or up 10%, which is not much when you're considering what high levels they are now, but it will stay strong.

There seems to be a pent-up demand for farms because during the three previous years, you could hardly buy anything. Also, since the July yearling sales and Sept. 11, a lot of people have been shocked into the realization that land is a vastly more stable investment than the stock market.

The strongest part of the market will remain in the 75-150 acre range, where you can have a good operation, but not compete with the major farms.

I hope people protect new investors in the Thoroughbred business and think of them as a diminishing natural resource rather than a source of as much immediate income as possible.

Trainer Richard Mandella
In light of the events that have happened in the world in the last few months, the racing industry, I predict, will learn a great lesson by controlling our egos and tempers and silly pride, to solve our problems in racing, and move onto more productive times.

Barry Schwartz, chairman New York Racing Association
First the state of New York is going to extend our franchise for about 100 years, then loan us $100 million to buy OTB and build the kind of casino I would like to have. Then we'll have a world-class franchise.

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