Thursday, July 14, 2005Contact: Bob Curran
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ESPN's Mark Shapiro to address racing industry Round Table in Saratoga

Mark Shapiro, who as executive vice president of programming and production for ESPN oversees those areas for the ESPN networks and ABC Sports, will discuss the changing landscape of sports television and the networks’ extensive coverage and promotion of Thoroughbred racing when he delivers the keynote address at The Jockey Club’s 53rd annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing at the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Conference Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Sunday, August 21.

Widely recognized as one of the most influential personalities in the sports and entertainment industries, Shapiro is responsible for the development, acquisition and scheduling of all programming for the ESPN family of networks and ABC Sports. He oversees all remote and studio production for ESPN’s domestic and international entities and ABC Sports, as well as ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE), which includes the X Games, ESPY Awards and ESPN Outdoors.

In addition to ESPN’s year-long coverage of horse racing totaling 130 hours of programming, next year the Belmont Stakes returns to ABC Sports. In April, ESPN and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced an eight-year agreement for ESPN to televise the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, also beginning in 2006.

Shapiro, who joined ESPN in 1993, previously served as vice president and general manager of ESPN Classic and EOE. He led ESPN Classic through a period of tremendous growth and programming development, punctuated by the launch of the network’s signature program, SportsCentury: The Top 50 and Beyond.

Shapiro’s presentation will follow an update on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and its strategic plan for the future, to be delivered by NTRA commissioner D.G. Van Clief, Jr.

The second half of the conference will also feature a segment on integrity in the industry, with emphasis on medication and wagering. Among the speakers in that segment will be Dr. Don Catlin, founder and director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, the only lab in the U.S. accredited for sports doping control by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The first half of the conference will feature presentations on the changing economics of the Thoroughbred industry. Among the speakers are Greg Means, a founding partner of the Alpine Group, the legislative advocacy firm which represents the NTRA, who will provide an update on federal legislative issues confronting the industry; Tim Smith, president of Friends of New York Racing, Inc., who will provide a progress report on the non-profit planning and advocacy group’s efforts to develop a new business model for horse racing in New York State; and Charles E. Hayward, president and chief executive officer of the New York Racing Association, who will provide an update on current activities and future plans for the organization.

The conference will open with the traditional welcome by Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club, followed by a “Report on the Activities of The Jockey Club,” presented by Dan Fick, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club.

A transcript of The Jockey Club Round Table Conference will be available on The Jockey Club web site a few days after the event. The web site is located at

The Jockey Club Round Table Conference was first held on July 1, 1953, in The Jockey Club office in New York City. The following year, it was moved to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where it has been held every August since.