“Craig Bernick of Glen Hill Farm and the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation is here to talk to PTF and JK about four things: the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park (3:15), Elate’s prospects this season (19:30), the Santa Anita situation (22:20), and the latest TIF white paper that aims to free the data (1:00). Plus, the return of an unwanted guest: dodgy hotel WIFI (IPTF thinks he edited most of the issues out but apologizes in advance).”
Prefer to read it? See below.
***Please note this was done with AI and likely contains errors and inaccuracies. ***
Hello and welcome to the, in the money players podcast. I’m your host, Peter Thomas. back with you for show number 25. It is Wednesday. The 20th of March. I am here in Vauxhall at the Staybridge Inn and suites little bit nicer than the youth hostel. That’s so terrified JK that I recorded the previous show Strom.
We’re now. In a much fancier place. This place, you wouldn’t think of it as luxury, but compared to the youth hostel, it’s basically the Savoy. So I’m much happier. I’ve got paren alongside me today. She’s watching a show. You may get one or two unscheduled interruptions from her. I’m just going to leave him in.
Cause we’re just doing this. Like I do the shows on the road. No editing, no music. Just talk and post. Hopefully that’s okay with y’all out there in the audience. I’ve got two folks here joining me today. The first one, you know, you love he’s here all the time. He’s not in London. He’s on the planet, Texas.
He’s the people’s champion. Fresh off another successful appearance on Fox sports, Jonathan kitchen. What’s up my man. You fresh off the planet, Texas. You you’re trying to steal my words. I heard you just say y’all a second.
You’re from New York. I guess I’m not supposed to say, is that, does that count as cultural appropriation JK, if a new Yorker says y’all as a team and he gets very upset, we had an argument last night, he was talking about how great Houston is. And I told him that Houston is the fourth best city in Texas.
It goes off Austin round rock around rock is just something like indescript town, right North of Austin, San Antonio, which is an hour South of Austin. Oh my goodness. I know round rock from the baseball, uh, affiliate. They have, uh, they have out that way, Jake bowels, of course, black type thoroughbreds. One of the sponsors of this show, this show I’ll point out, right?
Top is brought to you by our friends at the thoroughbred retirement foundation. Doing great. Work over there and you can donate to the cause help out the show, help out horses, help out the human beings who tend the horses. You can donate through the link T R F Inc org slash players. And then we get the credit for it, which is also a beautiful thing.
All right. Today’s show. Is going to be in three pieces. We’re going to start talking about the racing from last weekend. We’re going to move on from that. And we’re going to address the Santa Anita situation. We’ve got a special guest I’ll introduce in a moment’s time who will be helping us try to make.
Heads or tails of that complicated morass. And then at the end of the show, we’re going to talk about the new thoroughbred idea foundation, white paper. Aha. You might think I’ve tipped my hand as to whom the guest is going to be today. He is the grand Poobah at Glen Hill farm and also the TIF returning to the, in the money podcast.
Airwaves Craig Berneke Craig, what’s going on? My man. What’s happening guys. I wish I was in London or planet Texas, but I’m not, I’m actually in Lexington. It’s a nice day here, but Lexington, uh, April through October’s when you want to be. We’re very excited. I’ll tip our hand here a little bit as to some exciting news.
We’re not ready to announce it yet, but it looks like there might be a DRF podcast event in Lexington on opening weekend. Folks. Save. Usually it’s saved the day in the money players in the money players popped up. That’s right. I’m glad he’s not only a guest. He’s also a producer. This Craig Berneke in the money players podcast event.
Save the night. Opening night. Well, no opening Friday night, I guess it would be of keen that it used to be opening night. Save that Friday. We’re going to be doing something fun along the way. All right. Let’s start talking about the racing last weekend. A lot has been said already on Twitter. Craig, I’m going to start with you as our guests, your reaction to the two rebel steaks over the weekend, we went in with improbable and game winner as the co anti post favorites for the Kentucky Derby.
Is that still the case for you coming out of this week? I thought both those horses ran, ran super races. Um, You know, and probably did everything. But when I thought, um, you know, no knowing how Drayton rides, I mean the race, I think he sorta figured the race was in front of him, all the horses that figure to beat, um, were inside of him and, you know, in front of him and a lot of the race, he was wide on the first turn.
He was wide on the second turn. Um, you know, and then he just got, he just got run down, you know, the last. Last couple of jumps. Um, take nothing away from, take nothing away from the winter, but, um, but I’m probable ran, you know, uh, a fantastic race, um, to do what he did. I don’t know. Um, if I don’t, I don’t know with his pedigree, if he, if he’d be my Derby horse, um, you know, the, the, the way he ran.
Baffert horses that are, that are going to go Mount a quarter. He should have probably won anyway, but I think he’s a super talented horse. Um, best horse in his pedigree is actually hard spun who was second in the Derby. And second in the breeders’ cup classic, but it’s kind of known for his winning the King’s Bishop.
Um, and that’s kind of who this horse reminds me of. So, I mean, I, I, I think he’s a, I think he’s a very, very talented horse. Maybe his town was anybody. Um, That’s three, but I’d be, I’d be skeptical about amount of quarter for him. Um, and then the other race, you know, those two horses, Omaha beach and, and, and game winner.
I mean, they, they threw down, I mean, that race reminded me, um, Of a race at Tampa between any given Saturday and street sense, kind of, uh, the, not the final Derby prep at the race before that. Um, when, you know what I mean, they, they, they were 10 clear of everybody and you know, both horses went on and did, did great things.
Actually, same crop is hard spun, but, um, I thought Omaha beach, um, You know, he looked, he looked like he was going to get away and win by a couple of links and game winner. When he found his stride, he ran, he ran, he ran a, he ran a remarkable race too. Um, I would, I would think they’re the, for me the two, uh, the two horses that run last weekend that ran last week and that I think would be Derby horses.
As far as I’m concerned. I know a war of will. He’s getting ready to run this weekend code of honor. It was a few horses. Seem like they can, you know, they, they, they can Gallop and then keep, and then keep running. They’re not, they’re not really one dimensional speed horses or are just stone closers.
They’re they’re, they’re really handy Derby type horses. So. Know, it may not have the American Pharaoh or justify or, or what have you, but it’s, it’s a, it’s a pretty deep crop. Um, from what I can see before we move on to J K’s thoughts, I O Maha beach and apology, I may as well make it publicly folks may remember.
When I saw him run at Del Mar I guess it was last November. I made a cheeky Quip on Twitter that has not aged well after one of those, he had a couple of. Appearances on turf before he sort of turned the corner where let’s just say he didn’t show all that much. Gameness in the lane. And I said something to the effect of, it’s a good thing that the men at Omaha beach have more metal than the equine Omaha beach, or we’d all be speaking German.
He made me eat those words the other night and credit to him for doing so JK. I know there’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s start off with the same question that I asked Craig. Are these two Baffert Colts still at the top of the market, by your reckoning for this year’s Kentucky Derby. I think people have forgotten that, that, that Bob Baffert, doesn’t just train triple crown winners, right?
Like it’s like, we have this idea that when he has a horse on the triple crown trail, they’re not supposed to lose ever. And then they just went all their races and then we got on the cover of sports illustrated. We’ve seen that movie before it to be fair. Absolutely. Both of those horses ran extremely well, in my opinion.
Um, it doesn’t happen that often, but I want all four of those horses that were in the exact of the two division of the rebel, I thought all four of them ran well, long range Tati got a perfect trip and probably got a portrait game winner in Omaha beach. Like Craig said, laid it down. And both, I want both of them out of this race.
I think game winners, probably the one that deserves the most of my I’m sorry. Um, I just, I was going to try to beat him. Um, I didn’t think he was that talented in terms of really going on to be like that, that, you know, that powerful, overwhelming three-year-old. And he’s kind of made me change my opinion on that.
I think he’s probably the one out of all these horses that I feel like once the mile and a quarter is going to just keep running as a distance is get a little bit longer. So I’m looking forward to seeing him as they, as they continue. But, but this rates also, these races also reminded me that. I had to teach myself as a young racing fan to stop falling in love with horses in the mile and a 16th divisions of all of these three-year-old preps.
You have to wait until the next one to really lock and load on who it is that you love, or you’ll end up betting horses like Verrazano. And, uh, uh, and, and I can keep going, sold that and a bunch of other horses that, uh, are still running and the derbies that I’ve met them. And so I want all four of those horses.
And in fact, I, I like, uh, I feel the same way about. Uh, late who I’m sure we’ll get to as well that ran on on a rebel day at Oakland, we will get to a late in a minute. I’ve always had a similar opinion. JK I’ve stated it this way in the past that the distance and I want Craig’s opinion on this, the distance between a mile and a 16th and a mile and an eighth somehow on the race track on these big days plays as longer.
Then the small amount of actual distance that it is as somebody who breeds horses and bets horses, and knows so much about racing. What’s your opinion. I think that the, the, the races at amount of 16th or a mile, a lot of times are truer run races than the mile and an eighth or even amount of quarter. Um, speed horses thinks that, you know, they, they, they can still run their style and win.
I’m going a mile or a mile and a 16th, but they, they always want to kind of conserve energy to get the trip. Um, and we’ve always thought with our own horses, um, you, you always, you always have a better chance to wire a field. The longer the race is because they’re, they kind of let you go because human nature thinks that you’re going to back up to the horses.
Um, and I think some of the reasons that they’re V since this point system has come in, has gotten very forceful. When, you know, the previous 10 or 20 years you, you had a lot of, you had some bombs when it no favorites for a child. Yeah, yeah. For a giant period, no favorites one. And now it seems like it’s well, it is the favorite every year.
Right. And they, and they’ve all had the same trip and it’s just been kind of a, everybody’s got their, their head on straight race. And I think that the, these Mount of 16th races, um, mountain, and even sometimes, but, but definitely the amount of 16th races in New York, it’s been this way. You know, the, the horse that figures, they run their race and then they get run down.
Um, So, you know, they’ve, they’ve been, they’ve been truly run races. I don’t know that the speed horses, excuse me, that the, that the closing horses, when they run them on an ACE and amount, a quarter are going to get quite the same setups that they’ve gotten so far. So, you know, you got, you got to kind of, I’m not going to tell you guys how to handicap, cause that’s not why I’m on the show, but you have to, um, You have to, you have to handicap each race individually and you know, you can make a, sometimes you can make a case for horses, you know, the clothes, that amount of 16th that, you know, once they get that at a distance they’re gonna, they’re gonna just be even better.
But a lot of times, um, it doesn’t work out that way. I want to ask about the idea of the, these Baffert runners needing a race because of this unusual situation out at Santa Anita, I will confess, I did not consider that either Baffert runner might be in the least bit short going into these races. I thought both.
Would win and win well, but after the race, especially to me, the way game winner looked, he just, he looked like a sh somewhat short horse to me who was doing it on his natural ability, who was doing it on his class as it were J K. How do you reconcile the fact that normally Baffert brings his horses back to the races fully formed?
With this idea that the preparation at Santa Anita may have left them a little short. Are you buying? I have a bunch of thoughts that might not add up to an answer, but I’ll just, that’s fair. It’s a podcast. You can do that here. Baffert does it run short horses? He never has. You never will. That’s not what he does.
Game winner and, and probably run to me like short horses. They ran like horses. That ran winning, winning races, but Omaha beach and long range Tati jumped up and ran great races as well. So I don’t think it was that they were short. I think it’s that those other horses ran well, both figures kind of went up for it probably.
And for game winner. The other part of it is, is that there was a disruption in game winner and probables training schedule. I’m sure they did miss some gallops. I’m sure they did miss some jobs. I’m sure that they did, you know, have to ship over to low South for their last work and then ship back and then get on a plane to fly to.
Arkansas and, and all of those different things I think can be considered as, as, as important factors. But I don’t think that those are the reasons that they, they ran that they ran second and their, and their respective races. Craig, I want your thought on that idea, that to be visually, it looked to me, especially in game winners, case, like he would come on for the run.
I don’t necessarily want to say he was short, but he looked like a horse who would come on for the run more than the average Baffert horse. Are you buying that idea? Yeah. I mean, I guess, I guess that makes sense. Um, I agree with JK, they both ran really big races, pretty set up for long range, Tati, Omaha beach.
You couldn’t actually design a better horses than, than Omaha beach. I mean, Omaha beach is out of a half sister to take charge. Brandy who was champion two year old on the dirt. And then it’s the same exact family as obviously we’ll take charge and take charge Indy. And it’s by Warfront who we obviously know now could have dirt horses with four of will and Omaha beach.
So Mandela, I mean, he’s, he’s, he’s been training, he’s a hall of fame. Trinny has been training horses in the hall of fame for 25 years or more, you know, beholder. I remember when she beat executive privilege and they kept saying, man, maybe, maybe executive privilege isn’t that good would be executive privilege was a great film.
She just, you know, good horses and owned by people that have good horses. Well, bred horses, expensive horses. They get into the people’s hands. I mean, Bob Baffert is not the only person who can train horses. So I do think game winter will come on for the, from the race. I would expect him to run at Senate, but I’d expect Omaha beach to run in the sand new Derby as well.
And, um, there’ll be a great race, but it doesn’t mean, um, game winners, not that good. He just, you know, he got out run on. On Saturday. Now I do think that game winner probably wants to run further than Omaha beach. So maybe as it goes on, that might get reversed if he was getting too late. But you know, to me ran his race and.
No, he didn’t, uh, he wasn’t a short horse. He just, he just got out run. I also do want to give my opinion that this was a day at Oaklawn when ground loss mattered, in my opinion. So the fact that both Baffert were so wide around both turns. I think the buyer maybe came back a little low anyway, but even if you accept the buyer at face value, the extra credit in ability terms you might give for that whip boast, both terms, you could still be looking at horses who really.
Ran better or at least matched their top in the first start of a three-year-old year. Something that often portends further improvement, JK your thoughts on whether or not the ground loss mattered and how that factors into how you’re going to view these two going forward. I mean ground loss, you know, not always matters, but there’s, you know, geometry suggests that if you run farther, obviously if the rails good or bad or whatever, that can be important.
Um, but I don’t think you want it to be unbelievably wide. Um, like, like the two bathroom horses were at certain parts of the race. Um, and, and, and I agree with Craig, I think that moving forward game winners probably gonna Excel more as a distance start to go on. But you never know, like Craig said earlier, those earlier point is that these miles and 16th races are run more true.
The mile and an eighth race, suddenly Omaha beach is going to go 24 and four, uh, in 48 and three going a mile and an eighth of the game winner for links backing on. Now we’re talking about a completely different situation. Uh, it depends on who else shows up in the race. I’m looking forward to the next round.
I think they’re going to be a lot of fun. Um, I think that we’ve we’ve have forgotten how much fun it is to not have any idea who’s going to win the Kentucky Derby. Uh, w you know, it feels like three or four out of the last couple of years, we’ve just known who’s going to win. And we were a little bit nervous that it wasn’t going to happen.
Or, or, or maybe you weren’t nervous. Maybe you were betting against. And it actually ended up happening. So it’s a, it’s a fun Derby trail. I just forgot what it felt like. It does feel, I feel a little bit more open though. I still am down with the idea that those bastards deserve their place at the head of the market, both around 10 to one over here.
We’ll give an update on those odds. Maybe on the Friday show this week, before we move on from Oaklawn JK sounded like you had plenty to say about the clash between midnight Bisou and elate. We’ll keep it with you. I guess I need to add midnight Bisou to my apology list as well. I, I, I’m never going to say that she’s not, she couldn’t possibly.
I’m never going to say that she couldn’t possibly Excel at a one turn race. I think she would be dangerous going seven with a little bit of pace in front of her, but she kind of proved me wrong. And I think she’s six for six and a mile and a 16th now. And all the, one of them was at one turn. The other one other word too.
She ran really well, but I think a late is, is prime to have a really special year. The way she ran a mile and a 16th. She ran like a short horse. She ran like a short that a horse that wants more distance. I think that once she’s fully cranked and rolling throughout the year, she’s going to be really hard to beat.
Uh, you go ahead and give her the personal instant trophy now. She’s she is a, a very, very special horse and excited to watch her run the rest of the year. There was a future book on the personal incident. I think that might’ve proved to be profitable over the years. Craig, any thoughts from you about that race or anything else that happened last weekend before we, uh, turn this conversation to the Santa’s needed direction?
No, the only funny thing about that racist, we had some people over to the house and we were timing it to flip back from the Kentucky game. And I bet Shamrock Rose because I know she’s not as good of a horse, but I think sometimes speed carries at Oaklawn. And just when she, when she scored it away at the top of the stretch, all the basket, Oh, you won, you won.
And I know that that race got jinx, but I agree with JK, I think. I think when 20 years from now, when they talk about horses and he’s going to think he late it’s sort of generational type Philly ever since she came out at two, she’s been really, really talented in her best races. Are you put them against almost any put them against the Royal deltas or, or even.
To me, Rachel Xander Zenyatta, but she hasn’t had, you know, she hasn’t run as many times and had quite the consistency. Um, some of the horses and horse, like midnight BC, when she’s on her game, he, late’s not perfect. She’ll beat her because she knows how to win. So I, I agree. Um, you know, the personal answer on that track, you know, she looks, she looks tough to beat, but, uh, You gotta appreciate a Philly, like midnight, be SU we’ve said it so many times on this show about bill Mott with a target.
There’s nobody better at midnight BC, you take out those races going a little farther than her preferred distance and she’s impeccable. So props to her as well. All right. With that said. Let’s move on, Craig. We haven’t talked about this off air at all. So this’ll just be sometimes we have conversations on the show that are just exactly the conversation we’d have off the air.
I think that’s pretty much what this one’s going to be from your perspective, what the heck is going on out there. There’s a lot going on. And, and, and I think things are, you know, things are obviously happening in real time and. It’s been a really difficult meeting. I think you almost have to back up really understand if you, if you look in the last 10 years San Anita they’ve had Keith Brackpool.
They’ve had George Haynes. They’ve had Greg Aviola. They’ve had Mark verge. They’ve had Tom loop. They’ve had Joe Morris. John Prada was in there for a cup of coffee, you know, Tim writ vote. Now they’ve had a lot of people. There hasn’t been a lot of continuity at the top while that’s all gone on. They did have continuity with Dennis Moore and with Rick Hammerly.
Um, now you have a lot of rain from Tom Procter chains for us. He’s his dad trained out there since the, the have been five or six years that have had this much rain, but the huge difference is. The weather never warmed up in California. Like the month of February, it never hits 70 in Los Angeles County, which is the first, which is the first month in recorded history for it never to warm up.
So the track’s been wet. It’s never warmed up. Tim. Redbow spent a lot of time up there. I know that the Pegasus was a huge thing and both PJ Campo and timber spent a lot of time at Gulf stream, you know, and with Dennis Moore, Gone and Tim, excuse me. And, uh, Rick Hammerly let go. You know, there’s just not a lot of continuity at the racetrack.
Um, and arguably the most important race, checking the country, San Anita, and. It was just kind of a recipe for disaster. And then just for two seconds as an aside, like, um, I actually, I love Frank Mir Matti and I prefer him as the announcer for Santa Anita, but the way they. Fired Michael Rona and then gave the job to frantic.
No, they didn’t exactly handle that well to the, to the public and to the social media world and so on. So they, they clearly weren’t set up to handle a crisis. Um, you know, and now these, these horses have been breaking down, um, At an alarming rate for anybody that’s in the business, anybody that cares about the business.
And as we know in the business, you know, everybody likes the national attention when there’s a triple crown on the line and what have you and wish we had more, but. The horses dying on the race, track and horses not getting taken care of when they’re retired. Those are the things that get the general public up in arms.
And frankly, rightly so. So, so we had all this sort of brewing, closing the racetrack for training, without telling the trainers, the trainers saying it’s okay to train, having a horse down that day. Just, just lots and lots of, kind of. PR disasters, poor communication. And you know, then, then they, they, they, they, they canceled racing.
They can’t, they cancel the Santa Anita handicap. Um, we were supposed to run a horse in the kill roll mile that day because they, they didn’t have confidence. Um, in the racetrack, they didn’t, they were afraid of, uh, of, uh, of a protest that Peter was going to organize. They were afraid that the state was going to shut racing down.
And it, it was just a, uh, a disaster. We have the CHRP, the TOC, the California trainers and the Stronach group, kinda not, not working together for the same objective. That objective should be the same, which is the long-term viability and health of California racing. Everybody should be working towards that, but.
Each group, each group makes some very valid points and each group has a huge stake in the business, but each group is, is wrong too. Because when you look at, when you look at San Anita with that facility and those mountains, And the quality of the horses on the property, all the wealth surrounding it, and think that actual racing at San Anita might be in jeopardy.
I think everybody clearly needs to do better. Um, so that that’s, what’s kind of been brewing and the race track, I think, will improve with the warmer weather. And the dry weather. I think, I think the race check it’s it’s, it’s a fine race track when it’s dry, um, courses will break down. They’ve always broken down.
I think once every safety measures in place to ensure that the safety of the race track, I think you’ll have your occasional breakdown, but th th th that that’s going to happen. I think, I don’t think we’re ever going to eliminate every one of them. We’d like to the move to. Put in these new regulations to eliminate Lasix on race day, the out of competition, testing the diagnostic testing for pre existing injuries, the much longer lead times for injecting of joints and for shockwave and you know, all at once.
Um, I’m frankly. I’m frankly, in favor of more transparency and all of it. Um, I think the Lasix, you know, that that’s been debated on both sides and I think that, I think they both make very good points. Um, but I, I do think that Distronic group. It, you know, in conjunction with, you know, some of the people for the federal integrity bill, they took this Santa Anita disaster.
Um, With the horses dying as an opportunity to kind of relaunch to their bill and, you know, advocate for change in that way, which, whether you’re for it or against it, um, there’s, there’s good points on both sides, but I think everybody that, that understands horse racing knows that. Horses, weren’t breaking down the last two and a half months at Santa Anita because they were given Lasix.
Um, they’ve been given Lasix and you know, everything else for 40 years, but the issue was 22 horses have broke down in the last two and a half months. And that’s a change in the racetrack now. No, lots of times, we’ve all been out Louisville on Friday night before the Derby and it’s raining, you’re drenched, but if it’s sunny by nine o’clock in the morning, the racetracks fast by the second or third race, it’s not like that in California, when it rains, they have mudslides.
Like it’s just, it’s a, it’s a very, very different, um, climate. It’s a different soil and it doesn’t take rain the way racetracks do back East. And. To, to, to say that it does, or to say we run in the mud at Gulf stream, or we run in the mud at Maryland. So you should run in the mud at Santa Anita. Um, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s fine.
But when, I mean, there’s stories that when Bobby Frankel training California, he jogged every horse in the barn for like 35 days straight when the racetrack was no good. I mean, the, the. The the, the, the, the track itself and the weather in California, it, they’re not used to that kind of rain and that cold weather.
And it was just a, it was just a change. And, you know, the trainers, they probably breeze their horses too much. They probably breezed them too fast. Um, the race track, everybody knows it’s not good. So they’re trying to breeze their horses within the first five minutes after the break. Um, to make sure they’re on the good race track before it gets, before it gets uneven or it gets too cuppy or what have you, um, maybe they don’t warm up enough when they have to breeze in the first five minutes.
So many of them there’s a lot of factors, but. Um, I don’t think it’s the, I don’t think it’s the Lasix or the engine objecting of horses or the shock waving or any of that. It’s actually causing them to break down in such rash numbers. I’m in, I’m actually in favor of the change, but. Well, that’s a talk for five minutes, but yeah, that’s kind of how I, there’s so much to unpack and there’s a ton of great stuff in that five minutes and we really appreciate it, but I do want to go back.
I mean, maybe the easiest way for me to continue the discussion is to just talk about how I’ve been in this unenviable position being over here. Of having 500 people ask me whether it was last, uh, the last two weekends on sky sports racing or a Cheltonham in between about what’s going on and what my take is.
And Craig, I’m just going to lay out what I’ve been saying, and you can sort of tell me if I’ve been on the right, uh, foot or not now. I everything you said about the weather and losing the guy who was in charge of the racing surface. And I know there’s stories about that. Whether or not that was a jump or push situation, that’s we don’t need to get into that here, but in any case with a new track man, and all this bad weather, I do think it clearly led to a track that was unsafe.
I applauded Santa Anita for the decision to close and try to get that racing surface back and bring more back in before they reopened the track. Then it was my read that from what I’d heard from horsemen. And you, you tell me if I’m wrong about this, the new track after that. Initial interruption was getting good reviews and seemed similar to the safer, slower surface that we known in the past.
Then we had this very unfortunate 22nd breakdown the other morning, which I just put down to randomness, uh, at that point. From what I was hearing about the surface, that was maybe just one of those horrible things that happened in this game. And then what I think happened was a case of crisis PR at its worst.
And we see this in politics all the time. You don’t like the conversation. Well, we’re going to change the conversation and that frankly, bizarre note from Santa Anita. Sorta legitimising and inviting PETA into the conversation. A group whose avowed mission is to get rid of horse racing. I mean, that seemed bonkers to me.
And then it seemed to me, and this is a question for you, Craig. I don’t think it was not my understanding that they could unilaterally Institute. House rules to the way that they did in that memo regarding the elimination of Lasix. And we haven’t even talked about the whip stuff, another, uh, cause that’s near and dear to me, but I thought that the horseman had to sign off on all of this stuff.
So maybe that’s the way we’ll continue the conversation to the stuff that was in that memo. Is it your understanding that Santa Nita even has the power to do that at their own tracks? Well, there’s two things I want to talk about the first, um, I’ll answer that question first, you know, in order to, in order for, in the horse racing act, which came out 40 years ago, it basically allowed a parimutuel meat, um, to be for, for basically racetracks to sell bets across state lines, without violating the wire act.
So with. You know, first assignment, you know, the at first you’d have to go to Arlington park to bet on a race at Belmont, and then, you know, to simulcasts one of the races, you know, in order, in order to actually make that legal, um, they ha they had to Institute the horse racing act. Um, the horse racing act has they, they they’ve used that, um, that, that, that, that act, or that law.
To allow simulcasts wager and off-track betting, um, EDW, wagering, and so on and so forth. Um, and what, what it basically says is that States retain control of the rules in their own jurisdictions. And there’s a racetrack and a Horseman’s group. And the horses group is really originally was designed to be owners only have to sign off on.
And agreement, uh, in order to sell your race meat in order to sell your bets across state lines. And then the, the third party is the regulators or the, you know, the state in racing board, which basically makes sure it’s all added up. Right. And they get their money. They don’t generally weigh in on, um, topics associated with the business.
So in order for Santa Anita to hold a pair of mutual meet. Or any racetrack to hold a parimutuel. We based on the horse racing act, you need the horseman to sign off on, um, what’s your, what you’re doing and what you’re saying. So, you know, I, if I bought a racetrack or a group of owners bought a racetrack.
We couldn’t say these are the rules and misses the takeout. And this is the bets that we’re going to offer. And five other things you, you would, you would need a racetrack and a Horseman’s group to come to an agreement on all those things or else you can’t actually hold a part mutual meet. So when they, when they came out with the press release, um, instituting these new house rules, Um, you know, which basically said we’re going to run on international standards.
Um, I put on Twitter, I said, look, I’m, I’m happy when Hill farms happy to run under international rules, but I’m curious to see how house rules versus Horseman’s consent plays out. And then a day or two later, they had to walk back some of those rules because the horseman. Stood up and said, look, we’re fine with these changes, but it’s got to start with two year olds of next year.
Um, you know, and they, and they agreed to that. I think that, um, there was a belief amongst the Stronach family, uh, San Anita management, the horsemen, all the stakeholders in California that. Um, that’s a pretty liberal state and they obviously love their animals. And you see what they did at SeaWorld. There, there was, there was a belief throughout the horse business that if the state of California was going to come and shut the same heater down, um, and you know, they came out with their house rules and the horsemen walked it back a little bit.
Um, And I think, I think it probably is going to get horse racing to a better place, um, because of the rules, especially all of the out of competition, the long competition testing, the longer lead times on the, uh, the injecting, the shock waving, you know, in some of the diagnostic testing to see if horses have pre-existing issues that you can.
Either understand what they have and whether they’re running through it, or if there’s changes. I think all of those things are gonna are gonna really help the business. Um, I think it’s crazy to write a press release, um, where it starts with Belinda Stronach and then the next person quoted is somebody from PETA.
And then you have Joe Harper and breeders’ cup. And Tim Redfield like quoted in a press release from the thoroughbred industry when. No Peter, like you say, their mission is to end horse racing. I think, I think, I think we, as an industry, we really need to come together and fix a lot of our issues because the idea that a group like PETA is going to help affect change in our business.
Um, they might get something to change in the immediate term, but their longterm goal. It’s to kill our business and inviting them to the dinner table. Well, um, that’s, that’s, that’s not, uh, that’s probably not something that is a good idea. And I’m, I’m, I’m certainly not for, but yeah. Uh, obviously, obviously this is the world we live in now, so.
You mentioned the breeders cup. What is your guess about what’s going to happen with this year’s breeders’ cup? Does it seem like that’s going to go ahead as planned? What would your guests be? How would you handicap that one? Yeah, I’d probably have to abstain from that. Um, I mean, I was on the small board of breeders cup and, um, uh, w w they, they had an election and I wasn’t reelected to the board.
So. Um, I don’t think I try to handicap what they might do. I can, I, I could tell you what the conversation’s going to be. It’s going to be on one hand. Um, gosh, with all this attention in the industry and the world on Santa Anita, if we had a horse breakdown, even if it was random, that would be a terrible, terrible thing for business.
Um, Another another part of the conversation is going to be look. The Sonic group is a great partner to breeders’ cup. They’ve hosted more breeders cuffs at San Anita than anywhere else. Uh, customers like it or horsemen like it, people like visiting there. It’s a beautiful place. It’s a great place to showcase the sport and we’re committed to being there.
We’ve sold tickets. Um, so can we, can we really walk this thing back? Um, No. So that’s going to be the two sides of the argument. Um, but I couldn’t imagine what they’re going to decide to do. Um, I, I would, I don’t know, there’s going to be strong feelings on both sides and you know, like, like normal, both sides make pretty good points.
Um, but you know, they, they, they have to make, they have to make. They have to make the right move for breeders cup in the horse industry. So that, that that’s, that’s the argument, but they go decide what they’re going to do. Well, I’m asking you impossible questions, Craig. I’ll hit you with one more before we bring in JK to get his take on this whole situation.
I’ve let him be, be quiet throughout. What is your guess as to when racing will resume at Santa Anita?
Yeah, I mean, they’re scheduled to. Scheduled to run on the 29th. Um, they were originally scheduled to open back up the 22nd, um, before these changes were made. Um, you know, I hope they open. I hope they open the 29th. It’s been since March 3rd, since they ran horses. Um, We’ve been out. I mean, all of our horses in training, on Santa Anita, um, as a horseman, you know, we rent, we have a lot of turf horses.
So with the weather, we’ve either had to scratch or run on the dirt and a lot of races. Um, they ran one race on a soft turf. We probably should’ve scratched, um, Chicago style, you know, he’s got a little soft tissue issue. Um, No, and he’ll be back next year, late next fall next year. I mean, I think when I think when horses don’t run.
Wasn’t an unsafe turf horse, but turf course, but he he’s predisposed to some issues. Um, he’s six, he’s only run maybe 15 times in his life. We probably shouldn’t have run him, but he’s favored. And he was doing great and training well and had run well on soft turf before, but it’s, you know, it’s not as safe as from turf.
So, um, that was kind of our mistake. But I think when I think people that own horses, um, And people that train horses, they need to run the horses. It’s it’s, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s nobody has to be in the horse business, but, um, we all like it and we like racing. We’re like the competition and we, we, we, we believe that the race tracks are safe and that our in our horses are sound and.
I, I hear nothing that the racetrack isn’t safe, they could have had a beautiful weekend last weekend. Um, they could have raised horses. There’s they’re all ready to run. None of them have run. None of them will have run since May 3rd at the latest, excuse me, March 3rd at the latest. So they should have two, three, four weeks of great racing because they’re going to have a whole inventory.
Horse is ready to go. Um, Warm weather sort of course, hasn’t, nobody’s been on it. Um, so I mean, I I’m anxious for them to get going and, uh, you know, that, that’s what, that’s what we’re all in it for us to race the horses. I think, I think, uh, I think it’s, I think it’s been enough talking enough, uh, enough blaming and as long as they think the racetrack is safe, which.
I think it’s safe and I think most horsemen think it’s safe. I got out. Think, I think, I think they need to, I think they need to. You need to run J K, I want to bring you in. I know you’ve got some strong opinions about this. You can just pick up any thread you want run with it that we’ve been talking about over the last half hour or so for the sake of not being repetitive.
I kind of agree with what everyone said. It feels like the Lasix things is a little bit, I think it’s a little silly. Uh, you know, would you rather a trainer give five CCS of Lasix or take the water bucket away from the horse the night before? I mean, let’s just be honest. That’s probably what’s going to happen, right?
I mean, there. That they’re going to try to work around that. And I prefer, it just seems like I’m not a veterinarian, but it seems like Lasix would be the most humane way to go about an issue that just happens to be there. If we’re going to eliminate it, we’re going to eliminate it. And that’s fine. And I understand the perception from the world and if that’s what we do, we do it great.
Um, the whip, the race day stuff, the medications, all those things. The game will be better without them. I, I guess my frustration or my thought was, I just wish it would have happened a different way. I wish it wouldn’t have been used as a decoy for another problem that was created. And I also wish that to the Horseman’s for the horsemen sake.
Uh, the guys that are really trying to grind it out for a living and are doing right by their animals. I wish that they were given a little bit more of a heads up it’s I know that it’s been unbelievably stressful for them to try to identify where they’re going to be able to continue to make their living, provide for their family and then care for their horses that they have.
Um, I talked to a trainer that said that. He’s still out of luck with five, with five CCS, he’s got horses that he can’t run on five CCS, or there’ll be, you know, we all know what will happen in those situations with horses that don’t get treated with Lasix. So it’s going in the right direction. I just wish it was all done differently with all that said, one of my favorite things to do is kind of practice conversations and speech with Uber drivers, right?
Because like, no, one’s in the car knowing you can really try those things out and see how it comes out. This is interesting. In my Uber driving that I’ve been doing, I did a lot of it when I was in LA I don’t rent cars, but they always ask me what I’m doing here. I tell them racing. And then they typically asked me, well, all I’ve heard about that on the news.
What’s going on at San Anita and trying to explain to an outsider that breakdowns are. Uh, part of the game and that 22 and two months is just too many. It comes off so weird and they all look at you like, so wait a second. So, so it happens then they ask you, well, what’s a number that’s acceptable. And then you feel like an idiot trying to say a number that’s acceptable.
And one of the things that I heard from a couple of horsemen and I wanted to get Craig’s, um, take on it is that. These 1300 pound animals that are running around on stilts. If you take a horse off the racetrack and you make them a pet, it happens in the paddock, right? I mean, it happens when they’re just out in the field, being horses, it happens in the wild that happens everywhere.
It’s just the nature of the animal. And, and, and, and, and the way that they, you know, I’ve heard someone say they spend 24 hours a day trying to kill themselves. And you’re trying to keep them from doing that running through fences or all kinds of other things. But I wanted to kind of get Craig’s take on, on.
On the, on the farm and, and how these animals kind of get themselves in these situations, regardless of where they’re at. Yeah. I mean, there, if you think you’ve heard a 10,000 ways a horse could die and your phone rings, you’re, it’ll be 10,001, um, you know, you can, you can protect them. Um, but at the same time there.
They’re they’re really, really competitive athletes naturally, and everybody’s trying to win the race. So, you know, if you run in California, you’ve you’ve, you’ve got to beat Bob Baffert, Jerry Hahndorf and Peter Miller and Doug O’Neill and John Sadler and Richard Mandela. You know, you better have your horse ready to run.
If you’re going to lead them over in the afternoon, Richard Baltis and you know, all, I mean, you, you better have your horse really ready to run or, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re going to be embarrassed. So the horses are, are professional athletes. Essentially. They’re trained to run the best they can on that day.
And. You know, as they get closer to a race and as, as they get more fit that there are things that happen. Um, ideally, you know, you, you stop on a horse way before they break down. Um, I think, I think the, I think the breakdowns, like we’ve said that happened, it was because of a problem in the racing surface.
Um, And a few of them were, were random because you are going to get some random ones and horses on the farm. They run through fences when they get excited. Um, you know, in a thunderstorm though, they live in the paddock for six months and they know where everything is and they’ll run into a fence or, you know, they’ll, they’ll, they’ll, they’ll, they’ll get hurt in a stall they’ll.
They’ll do things that you don’t believe and they do get hurt. So I think that this, you know, w we, we need to eliminate them. We need to do the best we can to eliminate them, the breakdowns, but horses are going to get hurt. Like if you look at, if you look at, if you follow baseball and. You look at like innings pitched leaders in baseball, 20, 30, 40 years ago, these guys were throwing in the 300 innings.
Like the top 10 guys would all be 300 NX. Well, now the leader. Might be like 210 innings. And the baseball players have found that the longer between starts the harder they can throw, the more effective they can be. They can, you know, they can rest for a day or two. They can have a bullpen session. They, you know, their, their nutrition is better.
They throw harder. Everything’s everything’s better, but they all get hurt more. And you know, they’re, they’re not as durable. And I think we found a lot of it the same in thoroughbreds. I mean, a lot of trainers, they can, they can reach optimum efforts if they run every six weeks. Now, some people are gonna say, Oh, they need six weeks to, to, to, to get all their medication into their system.
Out of their system. There may be an element of that, but there’s no way that a horse. If they run seven times a year, six weeks apart, isn’t going to outrun a horse that runs, you know, that’s 42. So you know, every three weeks, no 14 races. There’s no way the horse that runs six or seven times, isn’t going to outrun the horse that runs 14 times.
They’re just, they’re just going to keep making. Optimal efforts. And that’s the way, that’s the way that the training is going now. And when you combine that with a smaller, full crop, um, and horses making less starts, it, it creates a whole host of problems in our business. But, um, you know, the faster horses run, the more it takes them to recover from that race, the faster horses run, the more likely they are to get hurt, like are bad horses.
You know, very rarely get hurt that they’re they’re, they’re, they’re not running fast enough to get hurt the big, strong, good looking ones, you know, that you’re trying to get ready to run their first race. Yeah. They get hurt. But once they’re, once they’re running and they’re, and they’re racing, good ones, they take a lot more management than the slow ones, because they’re just, they’re just easier on their bodies.
So there’s a lot that goes into it. Um, And, you know, I think that I’m like, I’m like, I’m like JK. I, I think that getting rid of Lasix and changing the rules long-term um, is going to be, is going to be good for the breed of the thoroughbred in this, in this country. And, you know, we’re, we’re breeders and we’ve, we’ve raised since, before I was born and my family got in it in the late sixties.
So. You know, as like stewards of the sport. Yeah. That’s going to be good for the breed of horses term in the immediate, um, you know, the w w with small fall crops and. Guys that want to race 13 races on a day, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re doing some crazy things to our sport. We could go on and on about this and we’ll save some of it for another conversation.
But I will say the baseball analogy is an interesting one. And the thing Craig, as you were talking that popped into my mind is just like, I have no doubt that the performance of pitchers and. Horses is more optimal in 2019. I think the best performers are better than performers of previous generations.
But I also think that in both instances, the sport as a whole suffers the sport as a whole is. Probably better off running every three weeks, a little bit slower than a little bit faster every six weeks. And while I understand why it’s evolved that way, I can also understand the frustration of fans who want to see horses run more, want to see fuller fields, better betting opportunities, not unlike in baseball, the way the game has evolved.
I mean, it’s clearly. I mean, look, I’m a baseball lover. I was up all night, last night, playing in a fantasy baseball draft, taking place on Eastern time, back in New York, New York. I love the game. It’s not as this is not get off my lawn stuff objectively. The three true outcomes baseball that has evolved in 2019 is not as.
Exciting as the baseball I fell in love with in 1979, it just, it’s not as entertaining the games take too long. Not as much happens. It’s all related to optimal performance in a way, very similar to, I think what’s happened in racing. I just thought that was an interesting point. I never really thought about it that way until you said it, you know, I mean, horse racing, isn’t the game that we all grew up loving either.
Um, Like I like, uh, we, we like to run our horses fit, like we’d like to in a race and then running an allowance race. Um, the races don’t come, they don’t come around fast enough for you to run a horse and know you can run it again in three or four weeks. Um, whether the horse is ready or not that race doesn’t come up.
And then when, when you actually win a race, the idea that you’re going to have a progression, um, for this horse to win a allowance race and, and, and I’m winners too. And, and maybe, maybe lose a racer too, in the, in that, in that time when they’re, when they’re, when they’re progressing, um, That that doesn’t happen.
I think, I think that one of the reasons wore well in Omaha beach, we w we, we talked about them earlier. Are, are the horses right now is because it did take them so long to break their mate. And you got used to running, um, interesting. We’re so accustomed, these horses winning, winning by 10, and then winning a steak and then winning another steak, and then going through the Derby, like.
Like Mike Tyson, you know, lots of like horses need to learn how to run. They, they, they, they, they need to learn how to fight, um, in order to win. And, and, and it’s, it’s just a different, it’s a very different business right now. Um, in some ways it’s better, you know, you can, you can watch every race from your house or your phone.
You can bet in any way you want, um, their social media. Growing up in Chicago, there was nobody that like tours facing, like there was, there was one math teacher that was a teller at Arlington park. And I would talk to him because he was the only person that, that, that knew about horseracing in my entire high school.
Like the, the, like you have to embrace what 2019 offers, but they, and I’m a baseball fan too, you know? I don’t like openers. I, I like, I like watching starting pitcher. And I like to see how people adjust the third time through the lineup. But now, I mean, I’ve seen a guy, so 75 pitches and five innings and look brilliant and six, 10 incomes around.
He’s not there because some, some geek says, uh, no, this is when he falls apart. Well, how do I, how do you know if he’s going to fall apart? If he never learns how to get out of that ending, you know? And. Horseracing is the same. So I think, um, you know, rag is in sheets and, you know, you know, horses make optimal performance as five or six weeks out from a race, not three weeks.
And, um, I’d love to run horses every three weeks. You, you, you, you get to run twice as much. You wouldn’t have to train as much. And every everybody would make more money because your horses would be running more. The horses would be more forceful. It’d be better to bet on. People would recognize everything would be better.
But if you can’t really walk it back, both instances, the genie is well out of the bottle. J K I, I think you had a point to piggyback there. Yeah, I’m just, I just encourage all three of us. I’m going to put on my optimism hat right here and tell you what I hope. Comes from this whole situation or there’s two things in particular that I hope that happened.
And one of them, I think we’ll be a little bit more indirect P you are probably the, the champion of the anti-marketing of the web. I think that, uh, it’ll be a very interesting world for horse racing. If we can get rid of the whip, it’s, it’s a really hard thing for people that aren’t a fan of the sport to grasp.
And we all say the same thing, but we’re really not sure. It doesn’t hurt them. We don’t really know that. Um, I know that the riders need something to protect themselves in terms of control and, and, and having the stick is fine, but using it in the way that it’s used at times, I don’t see any negative of getting rid of that.
They’ll all run the same situation. They’ll all run as fast as they can run. And no bad horses will be bad horses, whether the whip was there to, to motivate them or not. So I’m looking forward to a possible transition of getting rid of the whip. The other thing is part of me is like hopeful that Santa Nita gets into such a bind that they can only run like two days a week, maybe, maybe three days a week, and just really see what that does for racing and what it does for handling and run 10 races two days a week or 10 races, three days a week because of the, the, the, the, the, what, the Lasix and all the other stuff.
And some of the horses not being able to participate as much. I think that that could be good for our sport. Unfortunately. Uh, we, we talk about it all the time. Everyone’s worried about their piece of the pie and not making the pie bigger. I think restricting the amount of days that we’re running, it could be beneficial to the sport.
Look at Hong Kong does not, I’m not one of those liquid Hong Kong does guys, but. They run twice a week and they handle 10 times more money than we do. I think it’d be interesting to see if they kind of get backed into a corner of running less days, if they can still be profitable and maybe set that example up for other jurisdictions to kind of take some chances and take Wednesdays and Thursdays off and make it more of a compact schedule.
All right, we can continue down this road. I want to change gears, Craig, because you guys at the thoroughbred idea foundation just released your latest white paper. It has to do with data and horse racing. How has the reaction been since that paper came out? I’d love to hear you talk about it a little bit.
I thought this was a little different than some of the other papers you guys had released. In that it seemed to have a pretty narrow audience in terms of who controls the data in our sport. Curious if you’ve heard from them at all. What’s been the reaction so far. I mean, I think it’s, I think it’s been a really good reaction.
All right. Group is basically designed to advocate for, for, for gamblers and owners through improving like the pricing, transparency, product development, and access to data. We think, we think that, um, those are things that are long overdue that the horse business needs to improve on. Um, and. I’ve always felt.
And some of our other board members as well from being in a lot of the industry boards, that the issues that, that, you know, we’ve spent the first, whatever it’s been hour or so of this call talking about target around this medication and uniform rules and federal bill Horseman’s rights. And they, we get, we get so caught up in that issue, which is.
Undeniably crucial and very important to our business. But regardless of where you sit on those issues, whether you’re interested in the 50 year long-term history, future of the sport, or you’re interested in today and, and taking care of your business and taking care of your horse, that needs more than five CCS of Lasix.
Um, I think everybody needs to understand that in order for horse racing to compete as a modern sport, um, W w we need to have access to information, competitive pricing, competitive variety of bets and transparency, like every other major sport has. So if you play fantasy sports and you won and, and, and you’re getting into a leak, there’s.
So much information about every player and analysis and you know, other fantasy leagues where you, where you understand their, their average draft position. So even if you’d like a guy, you know, you don’t have to take them now, like this there’s so much information available in other sports. Um, and in our sport, we don’t w w w we don’t have to the public.
Information on, who’s going to run in today’s racist, like beyond the entries. Like you need, you need to have basic past performance information if you’re going to attract the sport to people that might bet on it someday. Um, and we think that’s incredibly basic. Um, the, the, the paper goes into some more detail about, um, Sortable and downloadable information, and then the benefits to making that available to people in this sort of analytics day and age, um, you can’t change what you don’t measure and as a sport.
Kind of having a paywall to, to, to, to investigate things is really old thinking. Yeah. And so, so the reaction to this paper has been, yes, this is obvious. We should definitely do this. Um, there’s some people that have been saying we’ve been doing, we’ve been advocating for this for 30 years. There’s nothing new in your paper.
And frankly, that that’s not the audience we were trying to reach.
we’re really trying to reach. We’re really kind of reached sort of the decision makers and major stakeholders of this industry and present it as a business problem. Um, look what happened to other industries. Look what happened to the stock exchanges when they quit being commission-based and selling information and went to giving everybody the information through Bloomberg and getting, you know, making the, making the price of the actual trade in the pennies instead of six or eight or $10.
Great analog volume, the exchange that’s traded. It’s really the perfect analog. It’s it’s it’s 2019 and it’s time to put the data into our customer’s hands. Now, the owner, the owners of the data are the jockey club and the racetracks. Um, the dragon club owns a third and the race Cox on two thirds. But when you, when you, when you take a step back and try to understand.
Who the biggest beneficiaries are to more fan interest and more gambling on horse racing. It’s it’s racetracks and Franklin jockey copy exact club it’s made up of it’s a breed registry. They’re trying to get people to breed more horses, and they’re trying to improve the integrity and the popularity of horse racing.
To the people in the United States. So like actually making the data available, um, to me is a simple way of growing the sport. So yeah, we’ve always heard, I don’t know. I don’t know how many people, I don’t like horse racing because the whips are allowed, but there are people who think that there’s a, that’s turning off a lot of people.
So now whips are. Are going to go away. Um, Donna brothers is on our board. Um, she works with Ramon Domingos. You know, they, they talk about this all the time. Um, Donna is a former jockey and she’s the person on NBC. Who’s got to explain horse racing to the masses. You know, this, this is, uh, this has been a big hurdle.
Well, if a bunch of people are going to like horse racing now, don’t you think. Um, making the making, and then we actually convert them to, to, to fans or participants in the sport. Don’t you think that if we make the data available, they might stick around a little bit longer. They might start betting and so on and so forth.
Like if, if, if these new rules bring a wider audience and we’re more appealing to the masses, which hopefully it will. That’s. That’s great. You know, you S you, you still have these paywalls. Um, my Facebook is free. Twitter is free. YouTube is free. Netflix is extremely cheap. It costs more to download a days like, like the daily package on Equibase than it does to watch.
Tens of thousands of hours of entertainment of Netflix in a month. Like when you’re trying to reach 18 year old customers in 2019, that’s just not going to have to. Um, and then when we come, when, when we look at sports betting, which is now legal, um, And it’s, you know, within five years, certainly customers are gonna be able to bet on sports, through ADWS on their phones.
Um, the access to information has to be available, uh, for horse racing because it’s going to be available for. Basketball and football and soccer and hockey and baseball and tennis golf. And now we’re never winning and curling and every other sport like it has to happen. Now, curling gets a call. Curling gets in all the podcasts.
Yeah. Pat Cummings was at the Sloan sports analytics conference at MIT where Dave and David stern, Adam silver speaks and. Bill Simmons speech and it’s Carol Morrie’s conference. I mean, he’s the only horse racing guy there out of 3,500 people in the, in the audience. I mean, this is the age of analytics.
Um, there’s, there’s, there’s this, this old thinking that. Data is, uh, is, uh, is, is like a monetization tool for the jockey club and racetracks instead of a marketing tool to grow the sport so that the paper talks about that it talks about the origins of Equibase. Um, Which it was founded for very good reasons.
You know, the daily racing forum was the producer of information. They had changed hands a few times and there was a, there was a fear that they would get into the wrong hands, where they weren’t necessarily going to be stewards of horse racing, or that horse may be out of the park, by the way. We were going to lose the, we were going to lose the control of our own data.
So it was actually built for the, for the, you know, for the benefit of the horse business. And look, it’s been a, it’s been a really well-run business. Jason Wilson, either a very good executive. I mean, his job is to sell more data. That’s, that’s what he’s there for. Um, We we think, and our board thinks, and there’s, there’s really significant stakeholders on our board.
I mean, you’ve got, you’ve got Leslie Howard. Who’s the CEO of stone street stables. You’ve got very Babich um, who’s in charge of Saint Elia stable. You’ve got Jack Wolf. You’ve got Paul Matise. You’ve got Corey Johnson. You’ve got Justin Nicholson. You’ve got Donna brothers. You’ve got Gary Stephens. You have Katherine Donovan.
Um, Her, she she’s very involved. Her husband runs SF bloodsucker, the largest, um, investor of Bloodstock besides basically Darlie and Coolmore in globally. Um, she’s, uh, she’s a partner in a law firm really helps us with structure of, of, of our board. And we would go about thinking things. I mean, all these board members.
Understand that if we’re going to market horse racing to a wide audience, you’ve got you. You, you, you, you’ve got to give that audience, the tools to come in and learn about your business and decide if they want to make bets. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s tough. Simple. Now will the jockey club and the racetracks decide to.
Change their business models so that the, so that the data is a marketing tool instead of a profit center for them, we hope so. Um, it’s not something that they need to, you know, go and get the support of the whole industry to do and move mountains. And it’s directly in their power to make past performances available.
Um, basic past performances, not. Not by your speed, speed figures or comments or ratings or rankings and ratings. I mean, I think they’re bad. Terry info. Yeah. They’ll always be a place, big market for premium, for premium info, but the basic information, um, and then providing it in a downloadable sortable, um, format.
So that. Not only our current sort of heavily analytical horse players, but every kid in a dorm room that wants to test the model can actually can actually do that testing without paying whatever the cost is for that raw data 5,000 a month or whatever it might be like. I think that’s, I think, I think that’s, that’s our thinking is just wrong on that and where we’re at.
We’re wherever. Excuse me, but the industry’s thinking on that is wrong. Well, wherever you’re sitting on the medication issue or the whip issue or uniform rules issue, or a federal bill issue, or should we have, have a commissioner? You have these race tracks, you know, they’re never going to get a commissioner because the race are private companies that need to make profit, like.
Well, we’re going to, if we’re going to compete as a modern sport in 2019, like this, this has to get done. So that was our last paper. Um, it’s kind of an appeal to stakeholders to hopefully they’ll speak up and really push for this, but, you know, you can’t, you can’t necessarily do it without the jockey club.
Um, deciding this is the way to go. And, you know, the, the other alternative that a lot of people. I think maybe coming anyway is, you know, not necessarily a competitor to Equibase, but, um, a way for custom customers to access data so they can bet on horse racing for free. You know, we, we, we, we need to come up with that.
So either, either, either Equibase does it, or, you know, it’s not going to be idea foundation, but somebody else is going to do it as a way to reach customers. There’s just no, There’s no way we’re going to keep running this business the way we always have been. If we think we’re going to be successful, gentlemen, the native is getting restless around here and we are over time.
I know JK, you have one question we’re going to get to that. The point I wanted to make to Craig, just to underline what he’s saying is to me, if you’re the jockey club, you, you kind of have two choices, right? You can harvest your remaining customers until they literally die off. Or you can find a new business model that could potentially enable the sport to not only survive, but thrive going forward through the 21st century.
To me, it’s as simple as that one quick personal story, I got. Yelled at when I used to work at the place for the letters. That’s not such a good steward for the game, aforementioned. Uh, at some point, Craig, all I did was retweet one of your tweets about data and got called on the carpet for, but we’re making so much money off selling this data.
And I think that’s just such a perfect example of let’s stop fighting for our piece of the pie within this industry. Let’s think of things that can make the pie bigger. I think one of the things of all that could make the pie bigger is the availability of this basic data. You still have the opportunity to sell your premium data, and nobody wants to take that away from you, but when it comes to the basics compared to other sports, it’s just laughable, what’s on offer now.
And hopefully that’s something that will be seen in the right light JK. So I kind of had a question, but I’m gonna turn it into more of a statement just for time purposes, but. I, I think that what Netflix is doing right now is something that anyone in any business should, should take a look at. They’re one of the biggest companies in the world, and you cannot tell me that they cannot do something from a technology standpoint to prevent multiple log-ins at the same time and from different places.
And the fact that they allow it to me. Is it proves that they have the foresight to realize that they are turning their product into a way of life. And at any point in the next five to 10 years, that they decide they want to click that on. They’re going to, they’re going to go up. They’re going to make so much money because now they’ve hooked everyone in to Netflix as a way of life.
And I just don’t understand why our sport doesn’t see that if you can just give. Something, you’ll bring all these people to the party and then they’ll start paying. Cause look, I couldn’t go to the restroom track with basic PPS anymore. I just couldn’t, I wouldn’t feel comfortable batting with basic PPS, so I’m going to pay for it, but you, but if you do, don’t get me to show up, then I’m not going to pay it for it.
I just don’t. I just, I, I applaud. Craig and the third idea foundation for putting this out there and explaining it in a way that most people can understand that it seems like a no brainer. It feels like the jockey club can afford to do this. And hopefully we’ll, we’ll get something done like this in the near future to continue to grow our sport.
J K, you’re not going to give out your username and password for Netflix. That’s not where this is going. Is it? Oh, I can’t give out. I can’t give it out because it’s not mine. I’m using somebody else. One more thought from you and we’ll wrap this sucker. I mean, this is a SIM simplistic way of looking at it, but it’s, it’s like what iTunes has done for people who like music it’s it’s, it’s just made it way more accessible.
Um, the record companies, the CD players, the, you know, the, the, the. It, it disrupted a lot of what happened, but it’s way better for consumers. And I think that’s the way the horse business needs to look at, look at our business. Well, what’s going to be better for the gamblers and the fans and that that’s the access to the information you have to give that to them.
Um, If we create more of them, the racetracks and the jockey club are the biggest beneficiaries of that in the whole business. So that, that, that to me should be their goal. But thank you guys so much for having me on, um, and my natives are getting less. I’ve got to, I’ve got to run. Let’s do it. Thank you so much, Craig.
Berneke for joining us. Thank you, Jonathan. Kinchin want to mention one more time. The show was brought to you by our friends at. The thoroughbred retirement foundation, please offer a donation T R F Inc org slash players. Thank you also to our friends at 10 strike racing. I’m Peter Thomas foreign . We will be back on Friday.
May you win all your photos?