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Thursday, April 08, 2021Contact: Gary Falter (859) 224-2803
Processes for Selecting Thoroughbreds Highlighted during Second Session of Owner Conference Series

The Thoroughbred Owner Conference series continued April 6 with a session that focused on strategies for finding Thoroughbred athletes for a racing stable. 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 second panel of the 10-session virtual series was sponsored by the New York Racing Association and featured perspectives from Dr. Jeffrey Berk, Equine Medical Associates; Terry Finley, founder and chief executive officer, West Point Thoroughbreds; Ken McPeek, trainer; and Gayle Van Leer, Gayle Van Leer Thoroughbred Services. The panel was moderated by Mike Penna of Horse Racing Radio Network.

There was a range of opinions in the group in terms of preferences for where to purchase young Thoroughbreds. While Finley stated that 2-year-old sales are good for owners who want to buy horses that are race-ready, McPeek and Van Leer praised yearling sales as opportunities to find value.

As a veterinarian, Berk discussed his role in the purchasing process by conducting physical exams, endoscopies, and interpreting X-rays. During the webinar, Berk took the time to show examples of different X-ray and endoscopic findings and how they might affect a horse’s racing potential. He made the point that it is not his job to determine whether or not a client should try to purchase a horse; rather, his role is to provide his clients with information to help them make decisions.

All panelists agreed on the rarity of finding a good horse and the need to be good stewards to them when you find them. “Protect them and treat them well, and they’ll reward you back,” said Van Leer.

The third session of the series, “Partnerships and Racing Syndicates,” will be held on Tuesday, May 4, at 2 p.m. ET. Sponsored by New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. and moderated by Simon Bray of TVG, the panel will consist of Anna Seitz Ciannello, Fasig-Tipton; Greg Harbut, Harbut Bloodstock; Phillip Shelton, Medallion Racing; and Laurie Wolf, Starlight Racing.

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.