TOBA Forms Committee to Study Jockey Ads

The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association has formed a committee that will study the use of jockey advertising in live races and trya and come up with a plan "that benefits the entire sport."

Formation of the committee was announced Friday. Among its members are Bill Casner of WinStar Farm, Cot Campbell of Dogwood Stable, Tracy Farmer, Trudy McCaffery, and Debby Oxley, who along with her husband John campaigned 2001 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos. A lawyer, Joel Turner, has also been enlisted to evaluate the legal rights of owners in regard to jockey advertising.

"Thoroughbred owners need a collective voice to address this important issue," said Dan Metzger, TOBA president, in a prepared statement. "Owners make a multi-billion dollar investment into racing each year and we believe that they should be very involved in the process of jockey advertising. We intend to present a plan that benefits the entire sport and creates opportunities for new revenues for its participants."

Jockey advertising has become an increasingly important subject as more states give the go-ahead for its use. Most recently, a federal judge granted a temporary injunction against a Kentucky rule that bans jockey ads. It is expected the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority will not fight the issue during a conference call with U.S. District Judge John Heyburn II, who granted the injunction, scheduled for June 11.

In a race, jockeys are generally considered temporary employees of the horse owner. It is likely owners will want some sort of compensation for allowing a jockey to wear paid advertisements in a race. One idea pitched by Satish Sanan of Padua Stables is to have a slice of the ad revenue pooled and used to enhance purses.

TOBA officials were not immediately available for further comment.