News Releases

Tuesday, March 26, 2019Contact: Alexa Ravit (212) 521-5307
Hawthorne Race Course Kicks off Season with High Definition Signal; First Track to use HD Fund

The Jockey Club announced today that Hawthorne Race Course is the first racetrack to make use of its High Definition (HD) Grant Fund and will begin broadcasting all of its races in HD for the 2019 spring racing season, which began on March 15.

Stuart S. Janney III, chairman of The Jockey Club, announced the creation of the HD Grant Fund at the 2018 Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing in response to findings from McKinsey & Company’s 2018 analysis of the Thoroughbred industry that were presented at the conference. The McKinsey team found that less than one-third of all racetracks broadcast on TVG provided HD signals, and they recommended that racetracks upgrade to HD signals to be competitive with other sports following the legalization of sports betting.

Through the HD Grant Fund, qualifying tracks may receive up to $150,000 to purchase or lease HD production equipment.

“We are very excited about being able to showcase Illinois racing in HD and seeing the product up and running,” said Tim Carey, president and general manager of Hawthorne. “We are thankful for The Jockey Club’s generosity for enabling us to make much-needed upgrades to our equipment and make our races more attractive to watch for fans and bettors.”

“The Jockey Club recognizes the importance of HD signals for showcasing horse racing, and we were happy to assist Hawthorne in making the switch,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “We are looking forward to seeing how this upgrade positively impacts Hawthorne and how our grant fund can help other tracks upgrade to HD in the near future.”

Additional grants to racetracks for HD conversions are expected throughout 2019.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It is the sole funding source for America’s Best Racing, the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing. You can follow America’s Best Racing at Additional information is available at

Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago’s Hometown Track, returns for spring Thoroughbred racing on Friday, March 15. The summer harness meet opens on Friday, May 5, and races through September 24. Fall Thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 10 through December 28. For more information, visit or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.