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Details of discussions among US owners and breeders are closely guarded

  PICTURE: Keeneland / Z  

American breeders plot fightback strategy

A GROUP of leading American breeders and owners have joined major racetrack operators and high-profile industry organisations in a series of closely guarded meetings over the past six months to plan what they hope will combat the difficulties facing US racing.

The group met in New York last week and could be ready to reveal its strategy in about a month, according to its leader Satish Sanan of Padua Stables.

Their primary objectives include generating a revenue stream that can support the marketing of racing and bolster integrity in areas such as medication use and wagering.

The group is also considering initiatives such as the formation of an industry-held account wagering business and the creation of a national structure for American racing as the sport is still conducted from state to state.

"We have a lot of support and momentum," said Sanan. "We cannot disclose what is being done, not that it's any CIA secret. In our industry, most initiatives get killed before they get started."

Sanan and Reynolds Bell Jr., chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA), said that those participating in the meetings have signed legal documents stating they will not disclose details of plans, including those relating to investment.

Participants are said to include representatives of The Jockey Club, Breeders' Cup Ltd., Keeneland Association, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and the New York Racing Association in addition to farms such as Vinery, all of whom began meeting during the summer.

"We have no choice. We have to do something," Sanan said.




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