SUNDAY,  December 3

Noon-5:00 pm   |  Rillito Park
Rillito Park Track Surface Grading Demonstration
Sponsored by the NTRA and Equine Discounts

  •  Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory

MONDAY,  December 4

A series of pre-conference industry meetings and workshops are open to all attendees beginning at 9:30 am. 

9:30-11:00 am   |  Salon J & K
Track Surface Regulatory Requirements

  • Dr. Mick Peterson – Director, Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory
  • Ann McGovern – Director of Racetrack Safety, Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority 

11:15 am-12:30 pm   |  Salon L
Racing Operations Committee (ROCO) – open to committee members only

  • Ann McGovern – Director of Racetrack Safety, Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority
  • Ben Mosier – Executive Director, Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit

1:00-2:30 pm  |  Salon L
3rd Annual Racing Secretaries Summit
Join Keith Doleshel (Racing Secretary, Aqueduct Racetrack), Elizabeth Rogers (Assistant Director of Racing, Penn Gaming), and Sal Sinatra (Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority), in a series of interactive conversations regarding Racing Office Rules and Operations, moderated by Rick Hammerle and Chris Dobbins. Sponsored by Equibase and the Race Track Industry Program, this year’s summit will be in discussion group format.

2:00-4:00 pm |  Salon J & K
HISA Workshop for State Regulators and Stewards
HISA/HIWU staff are eager to discuss regulatory and stewarding issues that have changed over the past 18 months. The workshop will include Racetrack Safety topics such as voided claims, crop rules, veterinary lists, reporting of fatalities and injuries, jockeys’ safety, uniform stewarding, registration of the horse at the time of the first work and the importance of compliance with all rules – and how they impact decisions. HIWU will engage attendees about the stewards’ roles in test selection, results reporting, and enforcement as part of the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists during the workshop. Additionally, HISA/HIWU have a breakout room for the duration of the Symposium and are available to meet on specific issues.

  • Dr. Jennifer Durenberger – Director of Equine Safety and Welfare, Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority
  • Marc GuilfoilDirector of State Racing Commission Relations, Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority
  • Kate Mittelstadt – Chief of Operations, Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit
  • Alex Waldrop – Consultant, Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority/Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (Moderator)

3:00-5:00 pm |  Salon L
NTRA/NHC Workshop
The NTRA is hosting a workshop that will cover multiple topics,  including the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), the NTRA Advantage/Equine Discounts purchasing program, marketing tools that promote racehorse and human health and safety reforms, federal legislative priorities in Washington, DC, and other programs. The workshop is free to registered Symposium attendees.

  • Keith Chamblin – Chief Operating Officer, National Thoroughbred Racing Association
  • Holly Short - Director of Marketing and Events, National Thoroughbred Racing Association
  • Michele Ravencraft – Senior Vice President of Events, National Thoroughbred Racing Association
  • Fritz Widaman – Senior Vice President of Equine Discounts Program, National Thoroughbred Racing Association

5:00-6:00 pm  |  Exhibit Area
Opening Reception


TUESDAY,  December 5

7:00-8:00 am  |  Catalina Ballroom
Complimentary Breakfast Buffet

8:00-8:30 am  |  Salon A&B
Welcome & Keynote Address

  • Robert Hartman – Chair, Race Track Industry Program, University of Arizona
  • Randy Moss – Horse Racing Analyst, NBC Sports

8:30-9:00 am  |  Salon A&B
HISA in 2024 and Beyond

  • Lisa Lazarus – Chief Executive Officer, Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority

9:15-10:30 am  |  Salon A&B
Legends of the Game – Racing's Iconic Turf Writers
Join legendary turf racing writers Andy Beyer, Steve Crist, and Jay Privman for an engaging discussion about horses and handicapping. These three Daily Racing Form alumni will be led through an hour of memories and topical discussion by the DRF’s former CEO, Charlie Hayward. Steve Crist, a versatile executive, author, and columnist, was given the moniker “King of the Pick Six” by Harvey Pack. Andy Beyer, a trailblazing author, columnist, and entrepreneur, redefined handicapping with the groundbreaking Beyer speed figures. Jay Privman, the generation’s national racing writer, will not only share his experiences but will also ignite thought-provoking conversations. These three distinguished speakers have all remained unwavering advocates for the horseplayer and have actively driven positive changes for the betting public.

10:45-11:45 am  |  Salon A&B
Embracing Change – Are We Ready to Adopt Category 1 Rules In the US?
The conflict of equity and fairness versus heightened consistency in decisions is the heart of the conundrum that surrounds the disqualification policies between Categories 1 and 2. While most international racing jurisdictions have shifted away from Category 2, which requires the demotion of a horse for consequential interference if the sufferer of the interference loses a placing, North America remains reluctant to embrace this global approach which only demotes horses when the sufferer would have beaten the interferer. In the age of the growing global wagering market, it is imperative for our racing companies to revisit this issue as our domestic bettors have already embraced such practices at events like Ascot, and our new international customers are already accepting of Category 1 disqualification policies. Our panel of experts will delve into the practical workings of Category 1 rules and provide insights on how to facilitate a smooth transition, including steward training and effective customer communication strategies. 

  • Scott Chaney – Executive Director, California Horse Racing Board (Moderator)
  • Tanya Boulmetis – Deputy Director, Ohio State Racing Commission
  • Victor Escobar – State Steward, Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission
  • Kelly Cathey – Director of Racing, Remington Park
  • Kim Kelly – Chairman, International Harmonisation of Racing Rules Committee

Noon-1:00 pm  |  Kiva Ballroom
Luncheon, Awards and Presentations
Luncheon and awards presented by the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, and the Turf Publicists of America. Jena Antonucci will be receiving the TPA Big Sport of Turfdom Award. Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance will be receiving the RTIP Clay Puett Award. Additional awards presented include:

  • RTIP – Distinguished Student Award
  • RTIP – John K. Goodman Alumni Award
  • RTCA – Community Service Award

1:15-2:30 pm  |  Salon A&B
Land For Sale. How Will Race Track Closures Impact the Industry’s Long-Term Sustainability?
The racing Industry is facing issues including the new competition of the rapid expansion of sports wagering, a severe shortage of horses, and an increasingly impatient public when it comes to safety and welfare issues. Marginal racetrack operations may only need a slight downturn in business to cast its future in doubt. This five-star panel brings together operators from all sizes of racetracks to discuss the financial pressures leading to a closure. Additionally, representatives of affected constituencies will discuss the impact from a track failure and how those groups are preparing for the future.

  • Mike Tanner – Executive Vice President/CEO, United States Trotting Association (Moderator)
  • Alan Balch – Executive Director, California Thoroughbred Trainers
  • Chris McErlean – Vice President of Racing, Penn Entertainment, Inc.
  • Craig Fravel – Executive Vice-Chairman, 1/ST RACING & GAMING
  • Dan Metzger – President, Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association
  • Phil Ziegler – President, Emerald Downs

1:30-3:30 pm  |  Executive Boardroom
International Tote Protocol Meeting

2:30-3:30 pm  |  Salon A&B
Strengthening Your Simulcast Content – Maximizing Handle in Diverse International Betting Markets
Horse racing is a global sport, but there are unique cultural preferences for the presentation of track video and handicapping data. This panel brings together experts to discuss the nuances for distributing races worldwide, catering to the diverse expectations of consumers. Strategies and insights on maximizing handle will be shared for both pari-mutuel and fixed-odds wagering.

  • Michele Fischer – Vice President, SIS Content Services (Moderator)
  • Klaus Ebner – Senior Manager, Simulcasting & HPI Services, Woodbine
  • Simon Fraser – Senior Vice President of International, 1/ST CONTENT
  • Inès Hendili – Country Manager, International Business Development, PMU
  • Richard Rosa – Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Daily Racing Form
  • Dan Silver – Director of Sales, Marketing & Business Development, Roberts Communications Network

3:45-4:45 pm |  Salon A&B
Computer-Assisted Wagering – The Good, The Bad, and The Future
As high-frequency bettors represent north of 30% in some of our domestic wagering pools and mass market handle has contracted, discussion of this market evolution and its impacts is of growing importance. This session promises to provide a thorough presentation of the issues, benefits, and drawbacks of high-frequency betting. Attendees will hear from executives of racing associations invested in CAWs, players, and critics of how high-frequency betting has evolved. This panel includes major voices from all sides of the issue and should deliver food for thought regarding the practice, how blue-collar horseplayers can coexist, and a roadmap of where it is headed. 

  • Oliver Roeder – Senior Data Journalist, Financial Times (Moderator)
  • Pat Cummings – Executive Director, National Thoroughbred Alliance
  • Scott Daruty – President, Monarch Content Management
  • Don Johnson – Chief Executive and Consultant, Quantitative Trading, LLC
  • Joe Longo – General Manager, NYRA Content Management Systems
  • Joe Wilson – Chief Operating Officer, Parx Racing

5:00-6:00 pm  |  Exhibit Area
Evening Networking Reception


WEDNESDAY,  December 6

7:00-8:00 am  |  Catalina Ballroom
Complimentary Breakfast Buffet

7:00-8:00 am  |  Ventana Room
Prayer Breakfast
Hosted by the Race Track Chaplaincy of America

8:00-8:15 am  |  Salon A&B
RTIP Senior Capstone Presentations

Bringing to Light the Behind-the-Scenes Action – There are many stories, good and bad, that go unnoticed within the racing industry that every racing enthusiast would love to get a glimpse of. This presentation will showcase up close and personal stories and highlight the industry’s many unique personalities as they confront their daily challenges. This will help bring to light how fascinating the sport is to racing and non-racing fans alike. — Ben Atkinson

Modernizing the Condition Book – Field sizes, claiming races, and complex conditions have plagued racing offices in recent years. This presentation will report survey results on how racing fans and industry stakeholders currently view race conditions, as well as how racing secretaries can reimagine their condition books to develop the most competitive racing product possible. — Eric DeCoster

8:15-9:00 am  |  Salon A&B
Racing’s Success Stories – The Year in Review
This panel celebrates the achievements of 2023 by spotlighting areas where the racing industry has excelled over the past year. These highlights include the remarkable growth of the Horse Racing Women’s Summit, the wealth of data derived from cutting-edge tracking systems in North American race tracks, the success of the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, the reconnection to the horse through experiences at Horse Country, and the mentoring of young talent within the racing community through Amplify Horse Racing.

9:00-10:15 am  |  Salon A&B
From Data to Dollars – Understanding Horse Racing’s Economic Impact As Racing’s Future is Questioned
This session will delve into ways to craft compelling arguments to garner state support for the racing industry by quantifying its existing economic contributions. This panel is comprised of seasoned veterans who have all labored in this arena and will share strategies for articulating the industry’s scale and the potential ramifications of ceasing racing. Discover how these panelists, along with their industry partners, have effectively lobbied their respective states to secure financial incentives, bolstering racing programs and modernizing facilities. You’ll also hear insights from the American Horse Council regarding their current national research initiative. You’ll also hear insights from the American Horse Council regarding their current national research initiative which provides critical data to be used to educate and inform our governments about the impact of racing.

  • Alan Foreman – Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Associations (Moderator)
  • Julie Broadway – President, American Horse Council
  • Tom Rooney – President & Chief Executive Officer, National Thoroughbred Racing Association
  • Lonny Powell – Chief Executive Officer, Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Owners’ Association
  • Najja Thompson – Executive Director, New York Thoroughbred Breeders

10:30-11:45 am  |  Salon A&B
Out of the Shadows – Shining a Spotlight on Mental Health and Emotional Wellness
Join us as we address a critical issue that has deeply impacted the horse racing community this year. In the span of less than six weeks, we tragically lost two jockeys, Avery Whisman and Alex Canchari, to suicide. These losses have united the racing industry in a collective effort to raise awareness and take concrete steps towards addressing the mental health challenges faced by individuals on both the frontside and backstretch. Moderated by former rider and NBC commentator Donna Barton Brothers, this panel brings together a diverse group of experts, hailing from within and beyond the racing world. They will delve into a thoughtful dialogue seeking solutions and strategies to better support and care for our racing community.

11:45 am-12:15 pm  |  Salon A&B
Movie Screening: The Fall
The powerful short film focuses on the mental health of jockeys and aims to raise awareness of mental illness within the sport of horseracing. The 22-minute film centers on a jockey having to deal with the suffocating aftermath of a high-profile fall at the final fence in an important prep race for the Cheltenham Festival. The film follows the journey of the jockey on the way home from the races, tackling the notion that jockeys, and sports people more widely, suffer in silence from mental health issues.

1:30-2:30 pm  |  Salon A&B
Turf Publicists of America Mark Kaufman Workshop – Communications and Protocols on Equine and Jockey Injuries
Horse racing must remain vigilant in having up-to-date processes and protocols for disseminating timely and accurate news — especially as it relates to equine and jockey injuries. This panel will explore our industry’s current news standards, share what has been effective, and explore areas of improvement in communicating critical and timely information to the public. How can racetracks best prepare to convey equine and jockey related injuries? What can be done to improve the processes between information available to the public versus stakeholders and horseplayers? What is the media and industry’s responsibility in reporting accurate information in compliance with the law? We’ll answer these questions and more in our panel discussion with industry leading communication experts.

2:30-3:30 pm  |  Salon A&B
The Industry’s Watchful Eyes – An Up-Close Look at Regulatory Investigations and Racing Integrity Teams
During this panel, we’ll gain valuable insights from the individuals at the forefront of racing’s investigation and integrity teams. You will hear from the “boots on the ground” and their special event clients on how we can strengthen racing’s regulatory efforts. Beyond the essential roles played by race track and state racing commission enforcement, we will discuss how the Organization of Racing Investigators (ORI) and the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) can provide additional layers of resources to ensure the sport remains a level playing field for both the participants and bettors. This panel will focus on the important role of ORI Integrity Teams in all three racing breeds, and highlight their significance in maintaining the sport’s integrity. Furthermore, we’ll explore how HIWU investigations are poised to play a key role going forward.

  • Melanie laCour – Legal Director, ZwillGen PLLC (Moderator)
  • Don Ahrens – Director of Security, Penn Entertainment
  • Dora Delgado – Executive Vice President & Chief Racing Officer, Breeders’ Cup
  • Jason Klouser – Director of Enforcement, Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission
  • TC Lane – Chief Operating Officer, United States Trotting Association
  • Shawn Loehr – Director of Investigative Operations, Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit
  • Janet VanBebber – Chief Racing Officer, American Quarter Horse Association

3:45-4:45 pm  |  Salon A&B
Updates & Path Forward – HISA’s Racetrack Safety and Anti-Doping & Medication Control Programs
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) oversees the first national, uniform Racetrack Safety and Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Programs in Thoroughbred racing in the United States. HISA will update attendees with a report on the first 16 months of the Racetrack Safety Program, proposed rule revisions, and goals for 2024. Similarly, the ADMC Program’s independent enforcement agency, the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU), will discuss observations from the first six months of implementation of the ADMC Program and plans for the coming year. Both HISA and HIWU will be represented by staff from different departments to talk about how they will continue to work with the Thoroughbred industry to promote the safety and welfare of equine and human athletes, and the integrity of the sport.

  • Ann McGovern – Director of Racetrack Safety, Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority
  • Kate Mittelstadt – Chief of Operations, Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit
  • Ben Mosier – Executive Director, Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit
  • Shaun Richards – Director of Investigative Strategy & Policy, Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit
  • Dr. Mary Scollay – Chief of Science, Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit
  • Dr. Susan Stover – Chair, Racetrack Safety Standing Committee, Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority

5:00-6:00 pm  |  Exhibit Area
Closing Reception

*Times subject to change