NEWS: nytb

NYTB Announces Executive Director Departure

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) today announced that Jeffrey Cannizzo, Executive Director, will be leaving the organization on January 1st, 2021 to pursue a newly created opportunity with the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) as Senior Director of Government Affairs.  Jeff has served as Executive Director of NYTB since 2008. Previously, he had a successful 10-year career, working in business development and management consulting for Lockheed Martin, Dell and Microsoft.

“For almost 13 years along with our board of directors, Jeff has been instrumental in navigating the most challenging times for New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Racing. Jeff’s knowledge of the industry and his ability to forge consensus among regulators and elected officials has allowed the NYTB to reach new heights as an organization. These attributes will serve him well at NYRA, and we wish him all the best in the future,” said NYTB President, Thomas Gallo.

A search for a new Executive Director will begin immediately.

Jeffrey Cannizzo, NYTB Executive Director said, “New York’s breeding industry has flourished over the last decade, and I feel fortunate to have played a role in that success story. I’d like to thank the NYTB Board of Directors for their commitment to those working every single day on the 250 farms throughout New York.” “Thoroughbred racing is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual economic impact to New York,” Cannizzo continued. “The sport creates good jobs in every corner of the state and sustains hundreds of small businesses. NYRA is the engine of that economy and continues to set the standard for safety and integrity at its three historic tracks. I look forward to advocating on their behalf to help shape the future of thoroughbred racing in New York.”

Proposed Modifications of Mare Residency Rules: Public Comment Period

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

LAST NOVEMBER I summarized proposals arising from discussions over a year ago among a wide spectrum of program stakeholders about ways to attract new broodmares into New York’s program. A shrinking foal crop and the coming retirement of a generation of our most prolific and successful breeders (responsible for as much as 20% of our state foal crop annually) make it essential to restock our mare population. The stark reality is that the New York Racing Association’s commitment (per the franchise agreement) to run 600 state-bred races annually will no longer be binding if the program cannot sustain a New York-bred population sufficient to fill the races. Breeders and stallion owners alike agreed that it is essential to remove barriers that are currently keeping new owners from bringing mares into the state.

The gaming commission and executive chamber received the proposal in late 2019. We have received notice the executive chamber (regulatory review unit) approved the publication of the draft rule change in the Department of State Register Aug. 26, initiating a period of public comment lasting 60 days when breeders and other interested parties can respond in writing to the proposed rule.

Click here to read the proposed rule 

The public comment period for this proposed rule will run through Oct. 26. After the public comment period runs, the Fund will be in a position to adoptthe proposed rule. If there are public comments received before Oct. 26, the Fund board will need to be apprised, evaluate those public comments, and decidewhether to accept any of them. If the Fund board wishes to accept a public comment that would result in a modification of the proposal, it may then issue a Notice of Revised Rule-making, which would need to again be approved by the Regulatory Review Unit, be published as a Revised Rule Making in theState Register, and be subject to a further public comment period.

As I outlined last year, the most important change is to open “resident mare” status to “Mares from Public Auction” purchased for at least $50,000 (or an amount to be determined annually by the Fund). After dropping a New York-bred foal, such a mare would not (as currently) be obliged to breed back to a New York sire. Instead, she could go to an out-of-state stallion, but only so long as she returns to New York after that breeding and maintains “Resident Mare” status (according to existing rules) until the birth of that second foal.

This is a rule that many of our competing neighboring breeding states currently follow.  In fact, they permit mares to be purchased and brought in their states with no minimum purchase price threshold or floor, such as Pennsylvania and Ontario.

Another change aims to reduce the shipping burden on owners of resident mares who currently raise foals in Kentucky. A resident mare going out of state to be bred would be allowed to stay away for 120 days (rather than 90 days) so her new foal can be weaned before she returns to New York. Finally, the 90-day period that a non-resident mare must currently stay in New York after foaling would begin “on arrival” rather than “after foaling.”

It is important to point out that stallion owners involved in our discussions have endorsed the kinds of measures outlined above, agreeing that attracting new mares or breeders will benefit the program as a whole. At the same time, I’ve been successful at brokering an agreement between NYRA and the Fund to further support our stallion population, creating a $5,000 owners’ bonus (by purse money) for New York-sired winners in various maiden and allowance conditions (both state-bred and open) with a potential value of more than $650,000 annually. This commitment has been signed by both NYRA and the Fund and will be instituted a year after the rule change officially takes place.

None of this, however, means that any rule change has been put in place; this officially kicks off an elaborately choreographed State-controlled process of review, comment, and possible revision before the proposed rule change is adopted or rejected.

I urge you to make your views known during the public comment period. The outcome of this process will be a transparent, open format, in the hands of the entire program and all constituents.   To comment by October 26th you must send in writing to or by mail:

Tracy Egan, Executive Director
New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund
One Broadway Center, 1st Floor, Schenectady, NY 12305

The timeline is such that if there are no comments requiring a change to the rule, the Fund board could submit its approval to the State for finalization before the November sales. The State will then incorporate the new rules which could take weeks administratively. However, it is important to note the rule as written will apply to all mares bought from public auction 2019 forward who’ve followed the new protocols.

Lastly, New York has reopened indoor businesses such as bowling alleys, museums, and gyms. Schools are reopening. If they can all open successfully, hopefully the casinos may get their chance to open sooner than a 2021 timeline. NYRA is functioning in this reduced environment and surviving. Yes, it’s for reduced days and purses. Rest assured, NYTB and NYTHA are working to ensure there will be a winter meet at Aqueduct under these same principles. You can count on that happening.


Jeffrey A. Cannizzo, Executive Director


June 2020 New York Breeder Magazine

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

The June edition of the New York Breeder  is available now online.



June New York Breeder – Return to Racing & Breeding Fund Award Changes

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

Reproduced below is NYTB Executive Director Jeffrey Cannizzo’s letter which appears in the June edition of the New York Breeder.


Good news has been hard to come by in 2020, to be sure, but I bet every New York breeder and horseman joined me in celebrating Governor Cuomo’s May 16 announcement that live racing can resume state-wide after June 1. The New York Racing Association (NYRA) hasn’t run a card since March 15 at Aqueduct, and officially suspended racing on March 19.

In late April NYRA submitted a proposal to the state requesting permission to resume live racing at Belmont Park. The racetrack operator detailed a host of health and safety protocols for reopening, many of which had already been in place for training and horse care for the duration of the hiatus. NYTB wrote several letters in support of the proposal emphasizing the need to restart the economic engine of the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industries. In addition to various letter campaigns I eagerly participated in numerous lobbying activities involved with various legislators and key staff in the Governor’s office.

Governor Cuomo and other officials, thankfully, recognized that horseracing was uniquely suited to resume operations sooner rather than later. An abbreviated 25-day Belmont spring/summer meet is now on the calendar and scheduled to run from Wednesday, June 3 through Sunday July 12. Racing will be conducted without fans and on June 20 the Grade 1, $1 million, Belmont Stakes will kick off a unique Triple Crown.

Changes on the other side of the 2020 hiatus of racing do not, however, stop at health and safety protocols and shuffled stakes schedules. On June 3, NYRA resumes paying out purses and New York-breds resume earning Program Awards from the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund (the Fund). The industry’s revenue landscape looks completely different.

VLT revenue for purses and awards evaporated the moment the racinos were shuttered in March. In all likelihood the racino at Resorts World will not reopen until the fall (with Delaware North possibly earlier), and then at best at only partial capacity. The absence of patrons at the racetrack for the foreseeable future also means there will no revenue from on-track handle. In fact, the only revenue for purses and awards will come from ADW handle which, for out-of-state customers, pays the industry at a considerably lower rate than on-track handle. The Fund and racetrack operators have had no choice but to revise their 2020 budgets.

NYRA has announced purse reductions and fewer race days for the Belmont spring / summer meet. Following a five-day opening week, live racing at Belmont will be conducted four days a week, (Thursday through Sunday). Open allowance purses are reduced by 20%, New York-bred allowance purses by 15% and claiming purses by 5%.

The Fund, for its part, projects a 44% loss in revenue for the year. After calculating handle and VLT losses and factoring in NYRA’s lower purses and reduced racing days, the Fund’s Audit Committee generated a revised 2020 budget which is now under review by the Fund Board and will almost certainly be ratified by the time you read this.

First and foremost, the Fund is instituting a new withholding model for 2020. As you know, the Fund regularly withholds 10% of each award check during the year to cover any unanticipated revenue shortfall. This makes it possible to reduce everyone’s awards by the same percentage, and not shortchange those who earn awards later in the year. Therefore, effective when racing resumes through the end of 2020, withholding for all award categories will increase from 10% to 50%. Any year-end surplus will be allocated to award earners per existing Fund rules.

The Fund has also reduced purse enrichment for the racetracks for the year by $500,000, allocating $600,000 to NYRA and $400,000 to Finger Lakes. This will result in a downward adjustment of purses for the New York Stallion Stakes Series.

Meanwhile the Fund is imposing substantial cuts on its budgets for administration and promotion. One big-ticket item, the Registry and Award System software enhancements that were slated for 2020 are postponed. The Fund’s professional and legal contracts have also been revised. As part of this belt-tightening process, NYTB also agreed to a reduction of its own promotional contract from the Fund.

I don’t need to remind you that we are all sailing in uncharted waters. We are trying our best to make the wisest decisions we can based on the information we have. Current expectations about the return of racing and re-opening of racinos may well change as events unfold and new data comes in.

I am sure none of us will ever forget the challenges of 2020. Events have forced horsemen, breeders, auction companies and racetrack operators to adapt, innovate and be flexible in order to stay afloat. Let’s hope that some of the hard work and lessons learned will be of service down the road. Racing, breeding and sales will certainly take on more normal contours in 2021 and, with any luck, we and our businesses can emerge as stronger and smarter versions of what they were before.

Letter to the Editor: Robert Fierro on Steve DiMauro in the TDN

Sunday, May 24th, 2020


By Robert D. Fierro (TDN)

Everyone whose life he touched was no doubt touched in many ways upon hearing of the passing of Steve DiMauro. That would include many memories of his training accomplishments with Wajima, Lady Pitt, Dearly Precious, et al, and his place in the Hall of Fame-as well as the fact that he basically “discovered” jockey Richard Migliore.

And I could not imagine that anyone who was touched by him remembers him with anything other than respect and fondness.

That goes double and triple for yours truly because he was an exceptional, though very understated, influence in my involvement with the New York breeding program with which I became involved in the early 1980s when he was President of New York Thoroughbred Breeders.

I was just starting out very modestly when Steve sort of encouraged me, with an occasional nod if not a wink, to add my promotional talents to the hands-on experience of other members of the board of directors. To say I was astonished would be an understatement: The only thing I had in common with him was an Italian heritage, although his demeanor and approach to life may have seemed far from what (still at that time) was the stereotype of “our people” in the industry, and in the country at large, i.e., overly expressive people who talked with their hands along with their somewhat robust mouths.

That stereotype was the complete opposite of what I had come to learn and understand was the essential quality of a man of Italian heritage-pazienza, which means exactly what you think it means: He was a man of patience in a business, and culture, which were beginning to depend on short cuts.

Without realizing it at the time, his steady hand as leader of the breeders during a time of turbulence involving both the state government and the racing executives set the stage for others who followed him to adopt some of his wait-and-see style, a style which was usually backed up with a few behind the scenes nudges that helped achieve our goals.

His way of going, so to speak, allowed his successor Paul Schosberg, and Paul’s successor (me) to temper our impatience at times by calling on Steve for advice, which was given with a bit of an arched eyebrow, cryptic insight, and always a smile. I didn’t realize it but he was much like my father who wore out his own eyebrows with the pazienza he had (don’t ask).

His lovely and adoring wife Kathryn and his always friendly and quite accomplished trainer and now Gulfstream steward son Steve shared a heritage that husband and father displayed quietly every time you came into his presence. If he were part of the game today at the same age that he was when I first met him most people would refer to him as “cool.”

If he had ever heard that, he would no doubt arch that eyebrow-and then burst out laughing.

Bravo, Stefano, bravo!

Champion trainer & NYTB past President Stephen A. DiMauro passes away at 87

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

By Matt Hegarty, courtesy

Stephen A. DiMauro, a champion trainer and a breeder who also was highly involved in the New York backstretch community, died on Wednesday night at his home in Winter Park, Fla., after a long illness, according to his son, Stephen L. DiMauro. He was 87.

A native of New Jersey, DiMauro started his career as a jockey in 1952, but in 1959 he turned to training. He trained his first champion, 1966 3-year-old filly champion Lady Pitt, just seven years later, and in 1975, he guided Dearly Precious to the champion 2-year-old filly title and Wajima to the champion 3-year-old male title, earning the Eclipse Award for the country’s top trainer in the process.

Although he amassed 1,159 wins and $23.2 million in earnings in a career that stretched from 1959 until 2002, DiMauro was also well known for his tutelage of young racetrackers, including Richard Migliore, the champion apprentice jockey of 1981, who went on to win 4,450 races in a 30-year-career.

“He took a chance on a 14-year-old kid and made a profound difference in my life,” Migliore said on Twitter, calling DiMauro his “mentor.”

DiMauro was also heavily involved in the New York backstretch community, serving on the board of directors of the New York Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the New York Backstretch Pension Fund, and [served as President and Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB)].

DiMauro said that during his father’s training career, he bought a farm on Long Island, a farm in Kentucky, and a farm in Ocala, Florida. He would breed his mares in New York to qualify them for the New York-bred program, send the foals to Kentucky for breaking, and then to Ocala for training.

“He thought he wanted New York-breds, and he thought Kentucky was the best place to bring them up, and that Ocala was the best place to get them ready,” his son, who trained until 2016, said. “That was just him all the way. He did everything 110 percent.”

His son said that he always respected and admired his father for the way he conducted himself, and that he taught him “patience, not just with horses, but with everything in life.”

“I admired him, I respected him, and I looked up to him,” his son said. “I couldn’t have accomplished half of what he did.”

NYTB endorses NYRA proposal to restart racing operations

Saturday, April 25th, 2020

New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) has endorsed the New York Racing Association’s proposal requesting permission to resume live racing at Belmont Park.

Reproduced below is NYTB Executive Director Jeff Cannizzo’s letter to the relevant State Agencies supporting NYRA’s roadmap for restarting limited operations with a broad array of mitigation strategies to keep employees and racing participants safe.

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders (NYTB) applauds the Governor for his leadership throughout the COVID-19 crisis, for making difficult decisions, and for laying the groundwork to strategically un-pause certain sectors. Moreover, we whole heartedly support the New York Racing Association’s (NYRA) plans to resume thoroughbred racing at its premier racetracks.

NYRA backstretch workers, like others responsible for the care and feeding of livestock, are already exempt from the Governor’s Executive Order 206 from March 22 mandating that 100% of the workforce for “non-essential” services across the state stay home.

These essential workers have been hard at work throughout New York Pause caring for, feeding, grooming and exercising horses. Whether or not live racing is being conducted, the backstretch workers care for horses in the same way and under the same conditions every day and will continue to do so. At the same time NYRA’s Preparedness and Response Plan Committee, in place since early March, is ensuring that these workers understand and follow NYS DOH and U.S. CDC guidelines about hygiene and social distancing. While being responsive to the health and nutritional needs of the workers and their families, the Committee also has contingency plans for dealing with any fresh outbreaks of COVID-19 among backstretch workers. It is appropriate, and timely, to now restart racing at the NYRA tracks.

Thoroughbred breeding is one of the most important economic engines of the New York’s equine industry – New York’s second-largest agri-business. As was highlighted in the 2018 American Horse Council Foundation report, the New York equine industry has experienced a resurgence in recent years, having grown by $1.1 billion and adding approximately 10,000 jobs. The equine industry collectively has a $5.3 billion economic impact on New York’s economy, and benefits counties across the State by generating hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. The breeding and racing industries are responsible for the majority of the equine industry’s 42,400 full-time jobs and aid in preserving 1.3 million acres of precious farmland. In addition to the 2,300 breeding, training and racing facilities across the state in all 62 counties, there are 23,000 family-owned farms and stables. NYTB is proud of its members’ commitment to the farming industry.

The New York-breeding industry has faced hardships before. As recently as 2010, New York-breeding was teetering on the brink of extinction. Video Lottery revenues helped reinvigorate the industry; farms started to reopen, new stakeholders brought business to the State, and the quality of stock improved. All of this has resulted in the best measure of breeder success: a boom market for New York-breds at thoroughbred auctions. In fact, over a 6 year period, the value of the average New York-bred yearling increased by more than 120%. We cannot allow COVID-19 to cause a reversal in this progress for the equine industry. With racing shuttered, there is no source of revenue for our industry to pay bills, continue employment, and support farm related services. The many small owners and breeders that make up our great sport are on the brink of bankruptcy. The only way we can keep them in business, fueling this agricultural economic engine, is opening racing at New York’s historic race tracks. To do so we need NYRA up and running as soon as possible with the proper safety and health protocols in place, consistent with the Governor’s un-pause strategy.


Jeffrey A. Cannizzo, Executive Director

NYTHA, NTRA Post Webinars on COVID-19 Federal Stimulus Legislation

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

By Sarah Mace

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) would like to draw the attention of all members and stakeholders to a pair of webinars posted by the Horseman’s Association (NYTHA) and National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) focusing on the Federal stimulus legislation enacted to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NYTHA’s webinar, which took place Monday morning, April 6, covered the subject of the Paycheck Protection Loan (PPL, also known as either PPP or P3) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), specific to NY trainers.  The PPL/PPP/P3 and the EIDL are part of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which is meant to keep businesses and individuals afloat during this unprecedented freeze.

Click here for “NYTHA Update on Federal Disaster Relief Provisions for NY Trainers.”

NTRA partnered with its Washington, D.C., legislative team, The Alpine Group and Kentucky-based Dean Dorton, a leading expert on equine tax matters, to host a national teleconference on April 1 to review Federal stimulus bills. The main topics covered are:

  • The Coronavirus Preparedness Response and Supplemental Appropriations Act ($1 billion in loan subsidies to be made available to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and non-profit organizations which have been impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus).
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (protects public health workers and provides important benefits to children and families for those impacted by the coronavirus. Protections for the employers of affected workers also are included in the legislation in the form of tax credits to offset the costs of providing emergency sick leave).
  • TheCoronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (an economic stimulus package valued at $2 trillion. The bill provides direct payments to many Americans, including individuals and couples; $130 billion to hospitals that are seeing their resources stretched to the brink and beyond in their battle to combat the coronavirus; $500 billion for corporations; $367 billion for small businesses; $150 billion in aid for local and state governments; and billions of dollars in extended unemployment benefits for furloughed workers.

Click here for “NTRA Equine Industry Update on COVID-19 Federal Stimulus Bills.”


Reminder: NTRA Industry Information Page for COVID-19

In an effort to help educate the public and industry stakeholders on measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19, NTRA has also created an industry information page on the NTRA website.

Tiz the Law crowned remotely as 2019 New York-bred HOY; NYTB microsite hosts divisional champions video program

Monday, April 6th, 2020

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

By Sarah Mace

Taking inspiration from the showbusiness adage that “the show must go on,” on Monday, April 6, the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) remotely crowned Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law as the 2019 New York-bred Horse of the Year. The organization also announced the 2019 New York-Bred divisional champions and named the New York Breeder, Jockey and Trainer of the Year. The 2019 New York-bred Horse of the Year and all divisional champions were chosen by a ballot of New York turf writers, handicappers, chart callers and racing analysts conducted by NYTB.

After it became clear in early March that the spread of COVID-19 would make it impossible for NYTB to host the organization’s annual Awards Banquet at the Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs on April 6 as planned, NYTB forged ahead to try to make the best of a difficult situation along with backing of our sponsor, the New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, and all our wonderful partners.

NYTB published the winners on the organization’s website  and social media channels on the original date of the event. At the same time, NYTB launched a microsite at to host a video presentation produced by PM Advertising featuring the top performances of all nominees and showcasing the winners. A Commemorative Awards Program, written and produced by ST Publishing (the team behind the Saratoga Special and, is in the mail to all NYTB members and currently available on the website. Program.

Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law, the magnificent blaze-faced son of Constitution, was named the 2019 Horse of the Year on the strength of his juvenile campaign, which was highlighted by a victory in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes. Tiz the Law was also the unanimous choice of voters as the 2019 Champion Two-Year-Old Male. At three, Tiz the Law is already a perfect two-for-two, winning the Grade 3 Holy Bull and Grade 1 Florida Derby. He sits atop the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” leaderboard and, provided all goes smoothly in the interim, Tiz the Law will be in the starting gate for the rescheduled 2020 Run for the Roses on the first Saturday in September (September 5).

Chester and Mary Broman were named the state’s top breeders in 2019 for the fourth straight year and seventh time overall. The couple previously won the award as outstanding breeders in 2004, 2011, 2014, 2016-2018. In 2019 the Bromans, whose name is synonymous with New York breeding excellence, won 82 races, 13 stakes and earned $3,775,911. The couple is represented by no fewer than four divisional champions for 2019,led by dual winner Pauseforthecause, who took home the hardware for Champion Older Dirt Female and Champion Female Sprinter.

Linda Rice was the top trainer of New York-breds in 2019, an honor she received six times previously in the last decade (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017). Last year Rice won 76 races with New York-breds, collected seven New York-bred stakes wins and earned $4,234,018. She trains Newly Minted, the Broman-bred 2019 Champion Three-Year-Old Filly.

Jockey Manny Franco finished the year with the most New York-bred wins and earnings, breaking a six-year streak when one or the other of the Ortiz brothers took home the hardware (Jose in 2014-2015 and Irad, Jr. in 2013 and 2016-2018). Franco compiled 94 New York-bred wins, won seven stakes on Empire State-breds and earned $6,346,925. Franco is the regular rider of Tiz the Law, aboard for every start after the colt’s winning Saratoga debut.

New York’s 2019 honorees:

New York-Bred Horse of the Year & Champion Two-Year-Old Male:
Tiz the Law (Constitution – Tizfiz, by Tiznow)
Breeder: Twin Creeks Farm
Owner: Sackatoga Stable
Trainer: Barclay Tagg

Champion Two-Year-Old Filly
Critical Value (Bodemeister – See the Forest, by Forestry)
Breeder: Marshall K Gramm & Clay Sanders
Owner: Ten Strike Racing
Trainer: Jeremiah C. Englehart

Champion Three-Year-Old Male
Somelikeithotbrown (Big Brown – Marilyn Monroan, by Tapit)
Breeder: Hot Pink Stables & Sand Dollar Stables
Owner: Skychai Racing LLC and Sand Dollar Stable LLC
Trainer: Mike Maker

Champion Three-Year-Old Filly
Newly Minted (Central Banker – Newbie, by Bernardini)
Breeder: Chester Broman & Mary R. Broman
Owner: Beach Haven Thoroughbreds LLC
Trainer: Linda Rice

Champion Older Dirt Male
Mr. Buff
(Friend Or Foe – Speightful Affair, by Speightstown)
Breeder: Chester Broman & Mary R. Broman
Owner: Broman, Sr., Chester and Broman, Mary
Trainer: John C. Kimmel

Champion Older Dirt Female and Champion Female Sprinter
(Giant’s Causeway – Spritely, by Touch Gold)
Breeder: Chester Broman & Mary R. Broman
Owner: Broman, Sr., Chester and Broman, Mary
Trainer: Kiaran P. McLaughlin

Champion Turf Male
Gucci Factor
(Gio Ponti – Shoo In, by Dynaformer)
Breeder: Highclere
Owner: Castleton Lyons
Trainer: Christophe Clement

Champion Turf Female
Fifty Five
(Get Stormy – Soave, by Brahms)
Breeder: Empire Equines, LLC
Owner: Peter M. Brant
Trainer: Chad C. Brown

Champion Male Sprinter
Build to Suit
(Dominus – Aspen Mountain, by Chief Seattle)
Breeder: Spendthrift Farm, LLC
Owner: Klaravich Stables, Inc. and Lawrence, William H.
Trainer: Chad C. Brown

Broodmare of the Year: Tizfiz (Tiznow – Gin Running, by Go For Gin), dam of Tiz the Law

New York-Bred Trainer of the Year: Linda Rice
New York-Bred Jockey of the Year: Manuel Franco
New York Breeder of the Year: Chester and Mary Broman


Notes for Breeders from the Fund and Beyond on COVID-19

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Events related to the spread of COVID-19 have upended all of our lives at quantum speed. The juvenile sales season is disrupted, racing at NYRA is on hiatus and you are doing your best to navigate a breeding season unlike any you have experienced before. This month, I will use this space to pass along a few specific pieces of information I think you will find informative and useful at this time.

The economic health of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund (the Fund) is obviously an issue for all of our stakeholders. Typically, the Fund derives on average $30,000 a day (or $900,000 a month) from VLT revenue. The other driver of Fund revenue of course is pari-mutuel handle. As you know, casinos are currently closed in the state and there is no racing due to COVID-19.

The other side of the coin is that 89% of Fund revenue is disbursed in awards. In other words, because no awards are being earned on the racetrack in New York currently, the interruption in revenue we hope will not create a shortfall for the Fund in the near term. There may be a time when racing resumes before the casinos come back on online, but the Fund is already taking precautionary measures to ensure cash flow so that it will be able to pay out awards.

Closer to home are issues affecting your employees. With Executive Order 206, beginning March 22, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered 100% of the workforce for “non-essential” services across the state to stay home. This is not a guideline but a legal mandate. The NYS Department of Ag and Markets immediately issued guidance concerning essential animal care.

Specifically, Ag and Markets designated animal care operations, including equine, as “essential” and exempt from the Governor’s Executive Order. The farm owner / operator determines who falls within the category of “essential employees.” Visits to a farm or equine facility by anyone not designated as an essential employee are not permitted. Moreover, farm workers taking care of horses are still responsible for following CDC guidelines, including 6-foot social distancing, hand washing and sanitizing of facilities and equipment.

Finally, as the foaling and breeding season progresses, the Fund has already examined contingencies relevant to mare residency rules in the unlikely event that interstate travel restrictions are imposed in the future. Current rules state that resident mares who travel out of state to be bred must return to New York within 90 days of their last cover. Also, program participants may ship their non-resident mares back to their home state 90 days after they foal in New York.

The Fund has explored the residency concern and its conclusion after preliminary discussions is,

“Since the requirement for mares to be back in New York within 90 days of its last cover is regulatory (not statutory), the Fund has discretion in how it intends to enforce that rule under the circumstances. It seems . . . that if there are any substantial restrictions on the ability of owners or breeders to move their mares back into New York State as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fund would be well within its authority to review that condition in order for the mare to retain its status with the Fund.”

To conclude on a brighter note, we are seeing numerous examples of the best among us stepping up to help the thoroughbred community downstate. The New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America (NYRTCA), spearheaded by the organization’s president Ramon Dominguez, is raising funds to support backstretch workers and conducting a drive to restock its food pantry. The Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA) is accepting supplies for infants and toddlers. NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum and NYTHA Board Member Rick Schosberg are active at the track in concert with the Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T) to support track workers. A Preparedness and Response Plan Committee, comprised of key NYRA staff members and the organizations just named has posted coronavirus-related signage in English and Spanish across the backstretch and is closely monitoring and assessing developments and developing key protocols to monitor and manage both the Aqueduct and Belmont properties. Details about all these activities apprear in articles on I urge you to follow up there, where you will also find information about donating supplies or money to these worthy causes. Until next time, I wish you all good luck and good health.


Jeffrey Cannizzo, Executive Director