Following are the questions that I would ask if I were interviewing pre-screened candidates for the vacant position of Chief Executive Officer of the Breeders’ Cup, followed by the most pertinent questions I would ask of candidates’ references. I would request that the candidate (and his/her references) elaborate in some detail.

1. Why do have an interest in becoming CEO of the Breeders’ Cup?

2. Sketch out in broad terms how you would go about working with a large board of strong-willed individuals, who are all successful in their own right?

3. How many times have you attended a horse racing card in the past two years? Have you been to any Breeders’ Cups in person or watched on television?

4. Are your thoughts mostly favorable or unfavorable on the Breeders’ Cup two-day format, versus the original one-day program?

5. Would you lean toward establishing a permanent site for the Breeders’ Cup or moving it around among several racetracks?

6. Do you have any suggestions for strengthening the Breeders’ Cup ties with Europe?

7. What would be the major pros and cons of moving the Breeders’ Cup feature races to television primetime, perhaps on a Friday night, to avoid the bulk of college football games?

8. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of presenting the Breeders’ Cup on ESPN as opposed to network TV?

9. What are the two or three main issues that horse racing must successfully address to move forward as a sport and business? Please address this question first from the standpoint of the racetracks and ADWs and then from the perspective of the bloodstock side of the industry.

10. In the background material we sent you, there is a section on funding. What are your impressions of how the Breeders’ Cup is financed? What do you see as the long-term implications of declining stud fees?

11. Which of these two compensation concepts would you prefer if you were the Breeders’ Cup CEO? (a) A total compensation package consisting of a relatively low base salary but laden with performance incentives based on agreed upon metrics; or (b) A total compensation package with a relatively high base salary with some incentives. To be more specific, in the first instance, a CEO might be able to earn, say, up to three times his/her base salary in incentives, whereas in the second instance, the incentives could amount to about one-fourth of the base salary.

The main questions to explore with a candidate’s references:

1. How well do you believe he or she would deal with intense public scrutiny and often cutting criticism from many sources?

2. Is he or she an honest and ethical individual?

3. Does he or she have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively?

4. How well does he or she grasp financial matters like cash flow and budgets?

5. Is he or she a sound strategic thinker?

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