In addition to ESPN's 130 hour-coverage of horse racing programs over the last year, the next Belmont Stakes (gr. I) will return to ABC Sports. In April, ESPN and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced an eight-year agreement for ESPN to televise the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships beginning in 2006. Shapiro, who joined ESPN in 1993, previously served as vice president and general manager of ESPN Classic and EOE. He led ESPN Classic through a period of tremendous growth and programming development, punctuated by the launch of the network's signature program, SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond. Shapiro's presentation will follow an update on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and its strategic plan for the future, to be delivered by National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner D.G. Van Clief, Jr. The second half of the conference will also feature a segment on integrity in the industry, with emphasis on medication and wagering. Among the speakers in that segment will be Dr. Don Catlin, founder and director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, the only lab in the U.S. accredited for sports doping control by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The first half of the conference will feature presentations on the changing economics of the Thoroughbred industry. Among the speakers are Greg Means, a founding partner of the Alpine Group, the legislative advocacy firm which represents the NTRA, who will provide an update on federal legislative issues confronting the industry; Tim Smith, president of Friends of New York Racing, Inc., who will provide a progress report on the non-profit planning and advocacy group's efforts to develop a new business model for horse racing in New York State; and Charles E. Hayward, president and chief executive officer of the New York Racing Association, who will provide an update on current activities and future plans for the organization. The conference will open with a traditional welcome by Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club, followed by a "Report on the Activities of The Jockey Club," presented by Dan Fick, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club.
A transcript of The Jockey Club Round Table Conference will be available on The Jockey Club web site a few days after the event. The web site is located at http://www.jockeyclub.com.