2020 Goals: Bill Thomason

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Bill Thomason | Keeneland

It's no secret that racing had a tough year in 2019. We asked a cross-section of participants what their number one goal is to make racing better in 2020. (Want to participate? Email [email protected])

BILL THOMASON, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, KEENELAND

My goal for the New Year is simple in theory: to make racing a safer sport. In practice, however, meeting this goal requires unprecedented cooperation from various industry factions to adopt enhanced safety and integrity standards uniformly across all 38 racing jurisdictions. It also means developing a true culture of safety in which the protection of our athletes is paramount.

Let's be honest, 2019 was a tough year for Thoroughbred racing. But for me, it ended on a hopeful note with the launch of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition. The Coalition's purpose is to lead the racing community's efforts; therefore, achieving the industry-wide goal of putting safety first. Every horse, every race, every time.

The key to our progress is the ability to hold each other accountable so that we achieve the highest standards of racing across the industry. We must also leverage technology to identify at-risk horses, which all of us have committed to build on in 2020.

Additionally, the Coalition looks forward to expanding on its members' recent regulatory achievements after Kentucky's race tracks, in an historic show of unity, successfully advocated for state-wide implementation of enhanced safety reforms. Similar efforts are currently underway in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania, and this list will only grow as we expand our membership in 2020 and beyond.

We have a lot to accomplish in our sport, and we don't have the luxury of time if we're to rebuild the trust of our fans. Change can be uncomfortable, but we embrace the new decade as an opportunity to come together and renew efforts to ensure that our athletes are racing under the safest and most transparent conditions possible. We owe it to our fans, and we most certainly owe it to the horses.

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