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Round Table Conference Goes Virtual, Brings Star Power

LeMond, Costas among participants lined up for this year's Round Table.

The Jockey Club chairman Stuart Janney III at the 2019 Round Table

The Jockey Club chairman Stuart Janney III at the 2019 Round Table

Skip Dickstein

While COVID-19 concerns and related restrictions have forced the Jockey Club Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing from its usual Saratoga Springs, N.Y., home to a virtual gathering, the annual meeting will welcome one of history's top cyclists and broadcasters.

Adding star power to this year's Round Table will be three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, who will talk with The Jockey Club president and COO Jim Gagliano about anti-doping measures and the importance of clean competition. LeMond has been outspoken about performance-enhancing drugs for more than 30 years and has testified before the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The Jockey Club supports federal legislation that would see USADA take over anti-doping efforts in horse racing.

In an unprecedented year for sports, Bob Costas, former sportscaster for NBC Sports and current sportscaster for MLB Network and contributor to CNN, will discuss covering the Triple Crown races and the challenges faced by sports in 2020. Prior to leaving NBC Sports in 2019, Costas co-anchored or hosted its coverage of baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf, NASCAR, boxing, the Olympics, and horse racing. Costas co-hosted NBC's coverage of the Kentucky Derby (G1) from 2001-18.

The Jockey Club announced Aug. 10 that its 68th annual Round Table will highlight the importance of reform in medication rules and testing, challenges faced by the Thoroughbred industry, and the claiming system. This year's conference will be streamed on The Jockey Club's website at jockeyclub.com at 10 a.m. E.T.,  Aug. 16, and aired on TVG and Racetrack Television Network's respective platforms. 

The Jockey Club chairman Stuart Janney III will preside over the conference.

"While we are disappointed that we cannot host an in-person event, we are excited by this year's lineup of speakers and the perspectives they will share with the conference's virtual attendees," Gagliano said.

Also on the agenda, which is still taking shape, will be trainers Mark Casse, John Gosden, and Jessica Harrington discussing training and competing in different jurisdictions in a panel moderated by Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club. Casse was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame this year, while Gosden has trained champions in both the United States and Europe. Harrington, based in Ireland, has trained top horses on the flat and over jumps.

Sal Sinatra, president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, will present on America's system of claiming races and recommend changes he believes would benefit the sport. Before joining Maryland Jockey Club, Sinatra spent 15 years at Parx Racing, where he was the vice president of racing and racing secretary.

Katrina Adams, the immediate past president of the United States Tennis Association, will discuss the importance of diversity. She previously served two terms as the USTA's chairman and president and was an accomplished professional tennis player on the Women's Tennis Association Tour for 12 years. Adams was the first African American, first former professional tennis player, and youngest person ever to serve as USTA president.

Jason Wilson, president and chief operating officer of Equibase, will deliver the activities of The Jockey Club.

The full agenda and bios of all speakers will be posted on jockeyclub.com in advance of the conference.