NEWS: nytb

Tiz the Law keeps crown as New York-bred Horse of the Year

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

Tiz the Law, winner of the Belmont, Travers and Florida Derby in 2020, defends title as New York-bred Horse of the Year. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

NYTB Press Release

Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law dominated the headlines in 2020 and successfully defended his title as last year’s New York-bred Horse of the Year during the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.’s Virtual Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 5. The NYTB announced its 2020 New York-bred divisional champions and named New York Breeder, Jockey and Trainer of the Year.

The 2020 New York-bred Horse of the Year and divisional champions were chosen by a vote of New York turf writers, handicappers, photographers and television and radio hosts and analysts conducted by the NYTB.

The championships were announced virtually for the second consecutive year after ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible for the NYTB to host the organization’s annual Awards Banquet at the Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs as planned typically on the first Monday in April. The NYTB made the most of the situation again thanks to the support of our sponsor, the New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, and all of our wonderful partners and supporters.

The NYTB hosted the virtual ceremony at, produced by PM Advertising and 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 added a second Horse of the Year and divisional title after taking the top prize and Champion Two-Year-Old Male crowns last year. The son of Constitution won three straight Grade 1s in 2020 – the Florida Derby, Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes on the way to his titles, along with a victory in the Grade 3 Holy Bull and a second in the Kentucky Derby. He earned the Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old Male titles by unanimous vote.

Twin Creeks Farm, breeder of Tiz the Law, were named the state’s Breeder of the Year, and the late Tiznow mare Tizfiz, the dam of Tiz the Law, earned her second straight Broodmare of the Year crown. Runners bred by Twin Creeks Farm won 20 races with 14 seconds and 17 thirds from 157 starts in 2020 and earned $3,005,207.

Barclay Tagg was the leading trainer of New York-breds in 2020, an honor he also achieved in 2003. Tagg-trained New York-breds won or placed in 14 of 28 starts, including eight victories, and earned $3,620,215 in 2020. Tiz the Law led the way for Tagg, winning four of six with a second and $2,388,300. Tagg also trained Two-Year-Old Male divisional finalist and open-company stakes winner Step Dancer, who won two of three starts and earned $96,100.

Jockey Manny Franco defended his title with the most New York-bred earnings and second most New York-bred wins in 2020. Franco racked up 65 New York-bred wins – second only to Jose Lezcano’s 68 – and earned $5,726,164. Aboard Tiz the Law for each of the colt’s six starts in 2020, Franco also won stakes aboard New York-bred divisional finalists Eagle Orb and Danny California.


New York’s 2020 honorees:
New York-Bred Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old Male:
Tiz the Law (Constitution – Tizfiz, by Tiznow)
Breeder: Twin Creeks Farm
Owner: Sackatoga Stable
Trainer: Barclay Tagg
Foaling farm: Sequel Stallions New York, Hudson

Champion Two-Year-Old Filly
Simply Ravishing (Laoban – Four Wishes, by More Than Ready)
Breeder: Meg Levy
Owner: Harold Lerner LLC, Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek) and Nehoc Stables
Trainer: Ken McPeek
Foaling farm: Stonegate Stables, Fort Edward

Champion Two-Year-Old Male
Brooklyn Strong (Wicked Strong – Riviera Chic, by Medaglia d’Oro)
Breeders: Cheryl Prudhomme and Dr. Michael Gallivan
Owner: Mark Schwartz
Trainer: Daniel Velazquez
Foaling farm: Shamrock Hill Farm, Fort Edward

Champion Three-Year-Old Filly
Sharp Starr (Munnings – Mindy Gold, by A.P. Indy)
Breeder: Stonewall Farm
Owner: Barry K. Schwartz
Trainer: Horacio DePaz
Foaling farm: Stonewall Farm, Granite Springs

Champion Older Dirt Female
Lucky Move (Lookin At Lucky – Quiet Mover, by Quiet American)
Breeders: Maltese Cross Stables and Stonegate Stables LLC
Owner: Ten Strike Racing
Trainer: Juan Carlos Guerrero
Foaling farm: Stonegate Stables, Fort Edward

Champion Older Dirt Male
Mr. Buff (Friend Or Foe – Speightful Affair, by Speightstown)
Breeders/Owners: Chester and Mary Broman
Trainer: John C. Kimmel
Foaling farm: Chestertown Farm, Chestertown

Champion Turf Female and Champion Female Sprinter
Lead Guitar (Maclean’s Music – Eleadora, by Finality)
Breeder: Windylea Farm LLC
Owners: Jim and Susan Hill
Trainers: Eddie Kenneally, George Weaver
Foaling farm: McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, Saratoga Springs

Champion Turf Male
Somelikeithotbrown (Big Brown – Marilyn Monroan, by Tapit)
Breeder: Hot Pink Stables and Sand Dollar Stables
Owner: Skychai Racing LLC and Sand Dollar Stable LLC
Trainer: Mike Maker
Foaling farm: Sequel Stallions New York, Hudson

Champion Male Sprinter
Funny Guy (Big Brown – Heavenly Humor, by Distorted Humor)
Breeder: Hibiscus Stables
Owner: Gatsas Stables, R. A. Hill Stable and Swick Stable
Trainer: John Terranova
Foaling farm: Waldorf Farm, North Chatham

Broodmare of the Year: Tizfiz (Tiznow – Gin Running, by Go for Gin), dam of Tiz the Law
New York-Bred Trainer of the Year: Barclay Tagg
New York-Bred Jockey of the Year: Manuel Franco
New York Breeder of the Year: Twin Creeks Farm

NYTB’s aftercare drive raises $14,000

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021

NYTB logoBy Melissa Bauer-Herzog

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc.’s annual aftercare drive posted record-breaking returns as members donated $14,000 to four different New York-based Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance-accredited organizations.

The $14,000 was more than double the second largest amount in the drive’s history, that coming in 2019 when $6,225 was raised. The donation was split between four organizations –$5,000 to ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and $3,000 each to the Thoroughbred Retirement Fund, Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue and Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption.

Many members of the NYTB are not only breeders but participate in other parts of the horses lives, so making sure they are cared for after their racing or breeding career is over is of upmost importance to the organization.

“The majority of our members are breeders, but many also foal, break and train the Thoroughbreds that compete in New York and across the nation,” said NYTB President Thomas J. Gallo III. “As breeders of these amazing athletes many of us become quite attached to the foals that we deliver and the families that we cultivate over generations of a bloodline. Many of us like to know that when a horse leaves our care whether it be through auction sales, private sales or claiming ranks that they’re still properly cared for.

“As an organization, we want to ensure that all equine athletes that compete continue to receive the best care possible when they retire from racing. We know our members appreciate that which is why we’ve been able to raise the money we have each year for this cause.”

Selection the organizations who receive the money every year is an involved process for the NYTB board. First researched by the executive director, the programs are then discussed by the board during a December meeting.

“All aftercare programs in the state are eligible and researched by our executive director, but of course we take into account which programs are accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance,” Gallo said. “Once our evaluations are made, we vote as a board on which programs will receive donations and for how much.”

The donations made by the NYTB membership is then matched by fellow NYTB members Michael Lischin and Anya Sheckley of Irish Hill and Dutchess Views Farm. Gallo credits the pair for helping the aftercare drive make such a big impact every year.

“They both have their finger on the pulse of the industry and this is an important part of their continued participation in our great state-bred program,” he said. “We wouldn’t be able to make the impact we’re able to on a yearly basis without their matching donation. They are one prime example of those who are willing to support our industry in any way they can and take action to do so. We are extremely lucky and thankful to have their support.”

For Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption, the donation will go to helping the horses with both regular and unexpected medical needs. The $3,000 donation will help pay those bills until June.

Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption President Kim Delong noted that donations make up 12.5% of their yearly budget with it costing approximately $12,000 per month to care for the horses that enter the program.

“We are very grateful for the support of the New York Breeders, we would not be able to be as successful as we have been this past year with 49 adoptions of mainly New York-breds,” Delong said. “Especially with the pandemic in 2020 and now leading into 2021, this donation will allow us the ability to make sure each retired Thoroughbred that comes into our program has the proper care they need to be able to transition into their new career or forever home. We know also that we can count on the NYTB should we have questions regarding a certain problem.”

ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption’s Program Director Lisa Molloy said their $5,000 donation was a welcome surprise. The program had to curtail its fundraising activities in 2020 even with its costs rising. With feed rising $4 a bag just in the past month, Molloy said the donation will go directly to a local hay supplier.

“The basis of our program is a good feed regimen and we firmly believe that the horses should have good quality forage 24-7,” she said. “Not only does it do wonders for weight gain, it relieves boredom and prevents ulcers. We use over 500 bales per month and just like feed, hay is at a premium at the moment. We are very fortunate that we have a local hay dealer named Mike that has kept us stocked with very good quality hay despite the shortage and at the same time, done everything possible to keep it reasonably priced. The NYTB donation will be used to buy two loads of locally grown New York hay.”

Molloy credits New York breeders not only for helping the program with this donation but also through other actions. From fundraising to volunteering, she said NYTB members are critical to keeping the program running.

“They say it takes a village to make a difference and NYTB is our village,” she said. “From the board to the membership, they have been so supportive and really embraced the program. We have had syndicates such as Parting Glass and Dream Maker independently raise funds, members volunteer and support events, local farm Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Farm provide new paddocks. As the official voice of the Thoroughbred industry in New York, NYTB have done so much to advocate for the safe retirement of horses in our state.”

The Thoroughbred Retirement Fund is mostly funded by private donations so the $3,000 it received goes a long way toward taking care of the TRF herd. TRF Executive Director Pat Stickney noted that the donation is just one of many things NYTB has done to help the program through the years.

“The NYTB has been a good partner in promoting our organization and helping raise awareness on Thoroughbred aftercare,” Stickney said. “We are extremely grateful for their contribution and any support we receive as that goes directly towards the care of the horses. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the NYTB in 2021 to have a meaningful impact on the herd under our care.”

For Gallo, the NYTB supporting New York’s aftercare programs is a no-brainer. The programs play a big part in making sure the horses continue to be cared for as they transition to a second career. As an added bonus, many of the aftercare organizations also keep connections apprised of how their horses are doing in second careers.

“It’s nice to know that these generations of babies that we deliver whether they are big winners, unraced or champions that they can look forward to being loved and cared for the rest of their lives,” he said. “That alone makes a difficult day a little easier to get through. We are sincerely grateful to all the accredited retirement organizations that we donate to and my only wish would be that we could give more.”

2020 NYTB Awards to honor Patricia & Frank Generazio, Ellen Bongard & Jeffrey Cannizzo

Monday, March 1st, 2021

By Najja Thompson

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) is pleased to announce Thoroughbred breeders and owners Patricia Generazio and her late husband Frank Generazio, in addition to the recently deceased Ellen Bongard, will each receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in the New York-bred program.

Former NYTB Executive Director Jeffrey Cannizzo will also receive a special award for his exemplary service.

The honorees will be recognized at the NYTB’s Annual Awards event, held in a special virtual format on Monday, April 5 at The 2020 New York-bred divisional champions and New York-bred Horse of the Year will also be unveiled during the event sponsored by the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors we are proud to honor each of these noteworthy individuals for their contributions and service to the New York racing and breeding industry,” said NYTB President Tom Gallo. “Each one of them has made significant efforts as owners, breeders and administratively helping to make New York the best and most lucrative state-bred program in the country.”

Patricia Generazio and her husband Frank Generazio, Jr., who passed last November at the age of 91, campaigned a number of homebred multiple graded stakes winners. Mr. Generazio, who owned New England Sand and Gravel company, first got his start in the Thoroughbred industry in his native New England and was a trainer at Rockingham Park and Suffolk Downs before he and his wife built a successful breeding operation that notably made an impact in New York, New Jersey and Florida.

Outstanding New York homebreds campaigned by the Generazios include multiple graded stakes winners Discreet Marq and Disco Partner. Subsequent homebred standouts include multiple graded stakes winner Pure Sensation, Precious Passion, Dowse’s Beach and Saratoga Treasure.

“We’ve always been big supporters of the New York-bred program and will continue to breed in New York year-round,” said Patricia Generazio. “Frank always selected our breedings, and he loved the New York-bred program. I’m very thankful and appreciative to receive this award on behalf of both of us. His loss still hurts and our stable will be reduced substantially, but we already have many Disco Partner babies and we will continue to have a presence in New York.”

Ellen Bongard, who passed away at the age of 77 last December, was a pioneer in the New York Thoroughbred industry and her family owned one of the oldest active breeding farms in the state.

The daughter of the late attorney Bertram F. Bongard, who played a key role in the formation of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund and New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc., Ellen and her sister Barbara Bongard owned Rojan Farm in Pine Plains, a flagship NY farm and a staple to the NY breeding industry for many years before moving to the Town of Northumberland near Saratoga Springs.

The Bongards stood many successful stallions at their Rojan Farm including Santa Anita Derby winner An Act, Northern Dancer’s son Kick, Rare Earth, Back Bay Barrister and many others. Ellen was also credited with the creation of The Bongard Room at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The room is used for conferences and honors pioneers and legends of the state’s breeding industry.

“She would definitely appreciate this,” said Barbara Bongard. “She’s certainly done a lot for the New York-bred program. I like to say our father started our family’s influential success in the industry and Ellen took the reins and continued on. We’re thankful she’s receiving this recognition.”

Jeffrey Cannizzo served as executive director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. for nearly 13 years before leaving to join the New York Racing Association, Inc. as Senior Director of Government Affairs in January. During his tenure, the New York-bred program gained significant exposure, stability and continued development and success. He elevated the position of executive director to one of leadership and national recognition for the NY Thoroughbred Breeding program.

“New York’s breeding industry has flourished in recent times and I feel very fortunate to​  have played a small role in that success story,” said Cannizzo. “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. The success of the state-bred program comes with the tireless efforts of so many stakeholders. Being able to represent so many wonderful people and speak on their behalf for over a decade is something I will always cherish. The many relationships formed during my time with NYTB will always be important to me. The New York-bred program will always hold a special place.”

NYTB Seats 2021 Board, Gallo Re-elected President

Friday, January 22nd, 2021

By Najja Thompson

The Board of Directors of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) held its first meeting of 2021 on Thursday, January 21. The new seated board re-elected Thomas J. Gallo, III, founder and managing owner of Dream Maker Racing, Thomas J. Gallo III Sales Agency, LLC and owner of Blue Stone Farm, as Board President.

Mallory Mort was re-elected as NYTB Board Vice-President. Vivien Malloy was likewise re-elected for another term as NYTB Secretary / Treasurer. All three NYTB board officers will serve two-year terms concurrent with their two-year tenure on the board.

NYTB Officers and Board of Directors for 2021:


  • Thomas J. Gallo, III, founder and managing owner, Dream Maker Racing and Thomas J. Gallo III Sales Agency, LLC; owner, Blue Stone Farm – President
  • Mallory Mort, manager, Gallagher’s Stud – Vice-President
  • Vivien Malloy, owner, Edition Farm – Secretary/Treasurer


  • Scott Ahlschwede, D.V.M.
  • H. James Bond
  • Lois Engel
  • Seth Gregory
  • Daniel P. Hayden
  • Michael Lischin
  • Joan M. Taylor, D.V.M.
  • Lere Visagie

Directors Emeriti:

  • Chester Broman
  • Suzie O’Cain
  • Joanne Nielsen




NYTB announces NYRA & NYTBDF Board Appointments

Monday, December 28th, 2020

NYTB Executive Director Najja Thompson 

New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) today announced that Executive Director Najja Thompson will be appointed, as the NYTB’s representative, to the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) Board of Directors and the New York Breeding and Development Fund Board of Directors made effective at a December 18 meeting of the Board.

Thompson’s appointment fills the vacancies created with the resignation of former Executive Director Jeffrey Cannizzo, who will join NYRA on Jan. 1 as Senior Director of Government Affairs.

“I feel very fortunate to represent the interests of breeders in New York with this opportunity,” said Thompson. “The state of New York plays an integral part as a leader in our industry, and I’m honored to play a direct role in continuing to better our sport as a member of both the NYRA and the New York Breeding and Development Fund Board of Directors.”

Thompson, a graduate of Florida State University and Vice-President of the Turf Publicists of America, Inc., has over nine years of experience in the New York horse racing industry. A former employee of the New York Racing Association, Inc. prior to joining the NYTB on December 14. He worked in various roles in the marketing department, communications office, and most recently in the human resources department at NYRA.

“The NYTB Board of Directors is pleased to have Najja represent us on both the NYRA and New York State Development and Breeding Fund Boards,” said Thomas Gallo, President of the NYTB who made the motions to appoint him. “With his background, experience, and expertise he will be able to be an innovative force in synergizing the accomplished members of all boards to forward the interests of breeding and racing in New York. I am confident he will usher us into a new era of strength through unity in building a bigger and better Thoroughbred Horse industry in New York.”

NYTB board election results 2020

Friday, December 11th, 2020

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) concluded its annual board election on Friday, December 11, 2020. This year, NYTB members voted to fill five seats on the board for candidates to serve two-year terms from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022.

The winning candidates, presented in alphabetical order by last name, are:

Scott Ahlschwede, DVM
Thomas J. Gallo III
Daniel P. Hayden
Vivien G. Malloy
Mallory Mort

Six other members of the NYTB Board will serve the second year of two-year terms in 2021:

James Bond
Lois Engel
Seth Gregory
Michael Lischin
Joan M. Taylor
Lere Visagie

Whittemore, Dowen & Ricciardelli, LLP, an accounting firm in Queensbury, NY, administered the NYTB board elections by validating the eligibility of all voters and receiving the completed ballots directly from NYTB members. The firm then tabulated and certified the election results.

Whittemore, Dowen & Ricciardelli, LLP reported the official results to NYTB in a letter dated on December 11, 2020.*

*Click here to read Whittemore, Dowen & Ricciardelli, LLP’s letter certifying the election.

NYTB Annual Stallion Season Auction

Thursday, December 10th, 2020

New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. will conduct its annual Stallion Season Auction starting on Tuesday, January 12 and ending on Thursday, January 14. The auction raises funds that allow the NYTB to carry on its two-fold mission of promoting New York breeding and racing and protecting the welfare of industry stakeholders.

To donate seasons, please contact NYTB directly at 518.587.0777 or

The auction will be held online using the Starquine bidding platform.  Participants must register with prior to bidding.  All bids will be subject to the rules and conditions of the auction and each season’s conditions will be posted. Register and bid at


Available seasons*


Stallion State
Accelerate KY
Always Dreaming KY
Army Mule KY
Astern KY
Bee Jersey KY
Big Brown NY
Bustin Stones NY
Candy Ride KY
Catalina Cruiser KY
Cloud Computing KY
Connect KY
Country House KY
Courageous Cat NY
Cross Traffic KY
Dolphus KY
Enticed KY
Frank Conversation NY
Freud NY
Gift Box KY
Honest Mischief NY
Honor A.P. KY
Honor Code KY
Karakontie KY
King for a Day NY
Klimt KY
Liam’s Map KY
Lookin at Lee NY
Lost Treasure KY
Majestic City NY
Midshipman KY
Mineshaft KY
Mission Impazible NY
Mr. Monomoy NY
Mr Speaker KY
Redesdale NY
Sharp Azteca KY
Sky Kingdom KY
Spun To Run KY
Tale of Ekati KY
Tale of Verve KY
Tapwrit KY
The Factor KY
Tonalist KY
Unified KY
Union Jackson NY
Union Rags KY
War Dancer NY
Weekend Hideaway NY
West Coast KY
World of Trouble KY

*Current as of 1/11/21

NYTB announces Najja Thompson as new executive director

Monday, December 7th, 2020

Najja Thompson starts his role as executive director of the NYTB Dec. 14.

New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Najja Thompson as the new Executive Director of the Saratoga-based organization; Thompson will begin his role December 14.

Najja has over nine years of experience as a member of the New York Racing Association, Inc. since 2011, serving in various roles in the marketing department and communications office. Most recently, he worked as a recruitment and employee engagement specialist, where he was responsible for identifying and cultivating new talent and developing onboarding initiatives. Additionally, he serves as Vice-President of the Turf Publicists of America, Inc.

“We are delighted to have Najja join the New York Thoroughbred Breeders as Executive Director,” said Thomas Gallo, President of the NYTB, “with Najja’s direct industry experience in New York and a deep knowledge of the New York horse industry landscape I feel very confident that he can continue moving NYTB forward in a positive direction.”

A graduate of Florida State University, Najja developed his passion for Thoroughbred racing after being introduced to the sport by his uncle, a small-time breeder in Florida. Growing up attending racetracks in both Florida and New York, he followed his passion to work in the industry.

“I am excited to step into this role with the New York Thoroughbred Breeders,” Thompson said. “It’s a privilege to work on behalf of the horsemen and women in the Thoroughbred breeding industry. I look forward to the opportunity to advance the efforts and accomplishments of NYTB in enhancing the status of New York-breds and promoting the economic impact breeders and New York racing contributes to our state.”

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