The Jockey Club has commissioned in-depth empirical studies over the years that have provided valuable insights into how to enhance the business of horse racing.  A study presented at the annual Jockey Club Round Table on August 14, 2022, was manifestly not in this category.

A consultant spoke on “An Economist’s View on Trends in Racing and Breeding.”  The consultant said she was an outsider to the racing industry…and it sure showed.  Ordinarily, the glaring weaknesses in her research could be somewhat overlooked due to her being a layman when it comes to racing.  However, she committed a cardinal sin in sound and standard research methodology by not going back and reviewing the body of output that has been published in past years. 

If she had done so, she would have found that the vast majority of the findings she cited in charts are self-evident and have been well known within the racing industry for years.  Moreover, in addition to regurgitating or rehashing findings, as though she had discovered something new, her message was entirely descriptive rather than prescriptive.  Racing needs to focus on what can be done in terms of strategy and tactics about obvious negative trends.  That is not in the knowledge-base of most economists.

If repetitive, descriptive, and cursory research such as this is to guide the racing industry, the industry is in big trouble.

The Jockey Club Round Table replay is available on the Jockey Club website.

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