News Releases

Friday, October 29, 2010Contact: Bob Curran Jr. (212) 521-5326
Racing Secretaries Convene to Seek Solutions to Improve the Sport

Sixteen racing secretaries from racetracks around the United States and Canada gathered in Lexington, Ky., on Monday, Oct. 18, to identify issues that all racing offices face, exchange information about initiatives that have had a positive impact on their respective racing operations, and identify best practices that can be used at every racetrack for the betterment of the sport.

The meeting was facilitated and coordinated by InCompass Solutions, Inc., a technology solutions company formed in 2001 as a subsidiary of The Jockey Club to centralize the software applications and systems that serve North American racetracks and simulcast outlets.

Among the topics discussed were the declining foal crop, horse inventory and the shortage of available racing stock, continued declines in starts per horse, the effect of state incentive initiatives on racing programs, purse structure, interaction with racing offices at other racetracks, the entry process, scratch times and the growing complexity of race conditions.

“The industry often receives input from regulators, vets, owners and trainers, and it is the hope of this group to use this opportunity to provide input to the industry from the united voice of the racing secretaries,” said Rick Hammerle of Santa Anita.

The participants at the Oct. 18 meeting were:



Rogers Beasley


Dan Bork


P.J. Campo


Allison DeLuca

Tampa Bay Downs

Mike Dempsey


Kevin Greely


Sean Greely

Golden Gate Fields

Rick Hammerle

Santa Anita

Ben Huffman


Steve Lym


Tyler Picklesimer


Chris Polzin


Pat Pope


Tom Robbins

Del Mar

Sal Sinatra

Parx Racing

Ed Vomacka


The group is reviewing and prioritizing the various topics and issues discussed during the meeting to identify actionable items. Among the immediate actions to be undertaken are to:

  • Determine the feasibility of formalizing the group and creating a structure that would enable racing secretaries to speak to the industry as a unified body
  • Analyze current purse structures, field sizes and stakes schedules
  • Analyze the increasing complexity of race conditions currently being used in condition books
Brad Kimbrell, the executive vice president of InCompass, said, “This was not meant to be a one-time occurrence, and to a person, the group has pledged to continue the dialogue, in person and on conference calls, to ensure that some of these ideas and practices are implemented.”

The InCompass Race Track Operations (RTO) system is installed at virtually every racetrack in North America. InCompass is also the industry’s largest provider of simulcast program pages through its Simo-CentralTM service. In 2008, InCompass played an integral role in the development, launch and maintenance of the Equine Injury Database™ and the Jockey Health Information System™, both of which are offered at no charge as an industry service. Additional information is available at

Additional comments from Participants:

Sal Sinatra, Parx Racing: “It was good for us to see each other and to exchange ideas and discuss issues. We all want the same thing: we want to see field size and handle increase. It will be beneficial to work together and if we can make recommendations as a group instead of individually, they will be better received by the industry. It won’t be something coming from just one racing secretary or one track.”

Rogers Beasley, Keeneland: “This group really represented a cross-section of racetracks and racing programs, and it was really a unique and worthwhile experience to hear directly from several racing secretaries about how they deal with issues, whether they revolve around horse inventory, scratch times or condition books.”

P.J. Campo, NYRA: “Racing offices share many of the same goals and challenges. Collectively identifying and sharing best practices that can be integrated into other racing offices will benefit the sport of racing.”

Tom Robbins, Del Mar: “This group provides a practical forum for us to discuss in an open, frank and direct manner how racing offices can work together to address many of the common issues we all face.”