Sackatoga Stable managing partner Jack Knowlton has accepted an invitation to be the keynote speaker at the Texas Thoroughbred Association's 2007 annual conference and awards banquet. The event is set for Jan. 19-20 at the Doubletree Hotel in Austin. Knowlton manages the partnership of Sackatoga Stable, which campaigned Funny Cide to victories in the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I). The now 6-year-old gelding has amassed earnings of $3,455,603. A group of 10 friends comprise Sackatoga Stable, which was named for Sackets Harbor, N.Y., where several of the members attended high school, and Saratoga Springs, where Knowlton lives and owns a health care consulting firm. Knowlton and partners rose to national prominence during Funny Cide's Triple Crown campaign as a foil to the more wealthy participants in the Sport of Kings. Sackatoga Stable purchased the son of Distorted Humor privately for $75,000 and saw him become the first New York-bred to win the Derby. The group made headlines as they traveled to the first two legs of the Triple Crown in a rented yellow school bus, which Knowlton determined was the cheapest mode of transportation for such a large group of people.In the wake of Funny Cide's success, Knowlton has become active in the effort to stabilize racing in New York. He is a member of the nine-person Ad Hoc Committee on the future of racing, which will recommend the new franchise holder of Belmont Park, Aqueduct, and Saratoga Race Course in New York."As an owner dedicated to improving the state of racing in his home state of New York, Knowlton will serve as an inspiration to Texas Thoroughbred Association members currently facing the challenge of stabilizing and growing the Texas racing and breeding industry," said David E. Hooper, executive director of the TTA.
In addition to Knowlton's address, the awards banquet will honor the 2006 Texas racing champions. The conference will incorporate equine seminars, a general TTA membership meeting, and an exhibit area.