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Thursday, May 06, 2021Contact: Gary Falter (859) 224-2803
Third Thoroughbred Owner Conference Panel Focused on the Racing Partnership and Syndicate Experience

The Thoroughbred Owner Conference series held its third virtual session May 4, hosting a webinar that provided insights on being involved in racing partnerships and the benefits of fractional ownership. The conference series is hosted by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and presented by Bessemer Trust, Dean Dorton Equine, Stoll Keenon Ogden, and Stonestreet Farm.

The third session of the 10-session series was sponsored by New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. and moderated by Simon Bray of TVG. The panel consisted of Anna Seitz Ciannello, Fasig-Tipton; Greg Harbut, Harbut Bloodstock; Phillip Shelton, Medallion Racing; and Laurie Wolf, Starlight Racing.

Both Seitz Ciannello and Wolf manage women-only racing syndicates in addition to their involvement in other racing syndicates. They and the other panelists mentioned that the racing industry can be difficult to initially get involved in but that racing syndicates are a positive first step and that industry stakeholders want to educate outsiders. In Wolf’s experience, “I’ve never met someone in this industry who isn’t happy to talk to you about it.”

“It’s not just about making women be included [in the racing industry], but all people,” said Seitz Cianello. “We hope our syndicates bridge that gap.”

Harbut was represented by his first Kentucky Derby entrant with Necker Island in the 2020 edition of the race, and he says that the exposure has resulted in increased interest from minorities who are considering racehorse ownership.

“Representation matters. If people are watching the Kentucky Derby telecast and see someone that looks like them, that’s paramount,” Harbut said.

Shelton described the Medallion Racing model, which is unique in that it focuses on race-ready fillies and mares.

“It is really important for everyone to figure out ‘what is the experience that you’re seeking?’ and ‘what is the right partnership for you?’” based on what experience you are looking for, Shelton said.

All panelists agreed on the importance of looking out for their racehorses after their careers were over.

“When you put the horse first, that’s when you have the best experience,” Shelton said.

The fourth session of the series, “Filling Your Racing Stable through Claiming,” will be held on Tuesday, June 1, at 2 p.m. ET. It is sponsored by Evolve Biosystems, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, and McPeek Racing. It will be moderated by TVG’s Gabby Gaudet with panelists Gary Contessa, trainer; Kathy Ritvo, trainer; Sal Spedale, owner; and Kirk Wycoff, owner.

All sessions will be recorded and made available to registered guests. There is no registration fee for the live or recorded virtual conference series, but registration is required. For more information about the owner conference series, including the full schedule of panels and registration, please visit or contact Gary Falter at

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership such as trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.

The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site was launched in May 2012.