The Greatest Game, a new-owner initiative that began in earnest in August, is designed to be a long-term endeavor and not a flash in the pan, organizers said Sept. 13 during an informational session in the Keeneland sale pavilion.
Keeneland president Nick Nicholson, one of the speakers at the meeting, said Keeneland, which is providing the bulk of the funding for The Greatest Game, is committed to the program.
"About a year and a half ago, we realized the industry needed to come together and face its future," Nicholson said. "Perhaps prices might not continue to climb, and racing might not continue its progress. It made sense to give quality thought of how we could go forward. The question is where are the people who sit in this ring five years from now come from?"
Television advertisements began running on CNBC, the Golf Channel, and the Travel Channel in mid-August, and will continue through the week of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Already, there are 15 prospective Thoroughbred owners waiting in the wings for consultants.
Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Farm said the consultant program, which features a code of ethics and other criteria, is just about ready to go. People interested in serving as consultants will be put into a lottery, and their names selected at random. When selected, they will be hooked up with prospective clients, who will choose between three consultants.
Consultants must be TOBA members and prove they are industry participants.
In response to questions, Taylor said the consultant program would be open to all interested parties, and not just those from Kentucky.
"We want this to be open," he said. "This is not just a Kentucky thing. This isn't an elite group."
Taylor said anyone with suggestions should contact the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, which is heading up The Greatest Game. It's still a work-in-progress, he said.