The Greatest Game, Thoroughbred racing's owner-recruitment program, began running advertisements on three cable television networks Thursday.
The $150,000 ad campaign features spots on CNBC, the Golf Channel, and the Travel Channel. The first couple of ads feature owners Gary Biszantz and Kenny Trout, with background footage from Keeneland.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association administers The Greatest Game, formerly TheGreatestGame.com. Much of its financial support comes from Keeneland.
Cornett Advertising of Lexington, Ky. produced the ads, which are designed to show how people who have been successful in other businesses have transferred that passion to Thoroughbred racing. Other owners to be featured in ads are Steven Duncker and Robert McNair.
Kip Cornett said research indicated it might take about five years for a person to go from considering racehorse ownership to actually buying a horse. Because of that, the campaign is designed to be long-term, and Keeneland, he said, is committed to it.
"People who get into horse ownership faster usually get out faster," Cornett said. "It takes some time, but we want to put people in the pipeline."
The Greatest Games initiative is not just geared toward purchases at sales. Information on the claiming game and partnerships also is made available to prospective owners.
Details of the program and the ad campaign are to be part of The Jockey Club Round Table presentation Sunday in Saratoga Springs. Several Thoroughbred owners are among the scheduled speakers.