The second Pan American Conference, bringing together industry insiders from North and South America, will have a session-packed two-day run May 18-19 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.
The inaugural conference, held in New York in June 2015, ended with a trip to the Belmont Stakes (G1) to witness American Pharoah secure the Triple Crown, and this year's version offers a day at the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore to watch Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming take his run at another jewel in the legendary series.
More than 300 are expected to attend the Pan Am conference, which will cover a wide array of educational topics. The forum gets underway May 18 with a morning keynote address from Andy Barr, a Kentucky congressman whose district includes the heart of the Bluegrass, and finishes up the following day with a keynote address from Belinda Stronach, chairman of The Stronach Group.
The Stronach Group owns several racetracks, including the Maryland Jockey Club and South Florida's Gulfstream Park, which will be the host for this year's Clasico del Caribe. The Clasico, a major international race featuring runners from Central America, will be held in the U.S. for the first time Dec. 9.
The conference, with a purpose of strengthening the bond between hemispheres, is a joint venture of The Jockey Club and the Latin American Racing Channel.
"This conference gives every attendee the opportunity to better understand how things are done in other parts of the world," said Jim Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. "They gain insights into best practices in a wide variety of racing jurisdictions and they also get to build worthwhile relationships with international counterparts. The Jockey Club is honored to co-host it once again with our friends from the Latin American Racing Channel and both organizations are extremely grateful to all the sponsors who make it possible."
Of interest the first morning is a panel "The Horseplayer Perspective," which will unveil the results of a series of polls to international and U.S. horseplayers on their impressions and opinions on racing, and an update on horse racing in Korea by the Korean Racing Authority, which has quietly become one of the world's leaders in pari-mutuel handle.
In the afternoon, racetrack and facility design will be discussed, and there will be two speakers from the International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR), which had it's own schedule of events the day prior.