The annual Global Symposium on Racing was held this past week in Arizona. The week-long event is conducted by the University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program and is held at Lowes Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson.
Two days of panels and discussions were held Tuesday, Dec. 10 and Wednesday, Dec. 11 with the Association of Racing Commissioners International holding their meetings Thursday, Dec. 12. The hot topic throughout the week was racetrack safety with various industry experts speaking about the subject in several different panels. Also, track surfaces were highlighted with talks by both Dan Coon and Mick Peterson.
New technology is always introduced at the UA’s RTIP Symposium and one of the new features was digital tattooing. “Mattress Mack” Jim McIngvale, longtime Thoroughbred owner and nationally known for opening the doors of his Texas-chain Gallery Furniture to victims of the Houston hurricane floods a few years ago, talked to the group about racetrack marketing and some of the gimmicks that have been successful for him. Although the programs were heavily balanced with Thoroughbred industry speakers, Mike Tanner of the U.S. Trotting Association was a guest speaker as was Greg Peck, Standardbred trainer for horses such as Muscle Hill.