Closing Remarks, First SessionJames L. Gagliano - President & COO, The Jockey Club
James L. Gagliano: In my opening comments, I tried to provide a fact-based situation analysis. Most of our economic indicators are pointed downward and we are no doubt on the cusp of another time of great change.
This contraction has been, and will likely continue to be, a very painful time for many in our business, as it has been for many individuals in other businesses.
However, we think there may be a “silver lining” to all of this: a flight to quality.
We may have less foals and less racing — but we expect we will have better foals and better racing.
And with that, perhaps a cause for optimism.
As they say, the only difference between a rut and a grave is the dimensions.
We can’t lose sight of the fact that there are many who love our sport. You need look no further than the crowds here at Saratoga. Those fans are attracted by a quality product in an enjoyable atmosphere.
And where else could you see Yankee fans and Red Sox fans mingle so peacefully?
There are many other examples that reinforce our belief that this sport has a future.
Think about Derby Day, Oaks Day, opening day at Del Mar or Keeneland, Queen’s Plate and Haskell Day.
There is palpable excitement in the air as our fans celebrate the best our industry has to offer.
So it is clear: Today, we are on the verge of a flight to quality as our breeding and racing crop gets smaller, but better.
Our collective challenge — and one that the four racetrack executives who preceded me have readily accepted — will be to harness that quality and transform it into sustainable business strategies.Thank you.