Stuart S. Janney III:
That was a very inspiring presentation, Winfried, and we can't thank you enough for sharing all those insights with us today.
After hearing from Winfried and all the other speakers today, I think we should all have a better idea about how to answer those two questions that I posed at the beginning of this program: What makes a sport successful? What makes a sport better?
Certainly integrity is a key component, reaching out to our customers effectively is vital. Offering innovative products is very important. Attracting new customers is imperative.
Thoroughbred racing has undergone a tremendous metamorphosis over the past 75 years or so. There was a time where if you were racing horses in New York, you really didn't care much about what was happening in Maryland.
But the world got smaller. Horses now cross not only state lines but international borders. We've seen a growing number of American‑based owners sending horses, for instance, to Royal Ascot, and we often see horses from all over the world competing in our Breeders' Cup Races and other major Stakes.
We've seen it in New York. We saw this weekend that in Arlington, and it's a very, very good thing for our sport.
We truly are an international sport. We need uniformity domestically, and we should strive for it, as Winfried so well said, internationally as well. If we can enact rules that are better than other jurisdictions, that's great. If we're deficient, that's not so great.
There was a time when racing was so popular we really didn't care or worry too much about all these other sports. But now we're invariably compared to other professional sports. It's just a fact of life. If we're going to compete with them for the entertainment dollar, we need to measure up in all those areas ‑‑ integrity, marketing, customer centricity, and product innovation.
When we have the opportunity to do so, we should work together. This industry's most successful initiatives have been those in which various organizations and individuals joined hands for a common cause.
Our late chairman made that plea on many occasions from this stage, and I'm going to make it again today. This is a great sport. If we work together we can make it an even better one. I hope you've found today's conference to be educational and useful, and I thank you very much for your interest.