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Friday, February 27, 2015

The Jockey Club Purchases Majority Ownership Stake in Blood-Horse

(Press Release from The Jockey Club)The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) announced today that The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. has purchased a majority ownership interest in Blood-Horse magazine. The purchase also includes related digital and custom printing properties of Blood-Horse, the Stallion Register, and Blood-Horse’s 50% interest in TrueNicks LLC.

The announcement was made jointly by Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club, and Peter S. Willmott, chairman of TOBA.

“The Jockey Club stewards believe that a publication with the history, influence and brand recognition of Blood-Horse is a considerable asset for the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry and that there are certain synergies that will make it an even stronger entity as a result of this transaction,” said Phipps.

“TOBA and its predecessor breeders organization have been the sole owner of Blood-Horse since 1935,” said Willmott. “With the considerable changes underway in the publishing industry, it is our strong feeling that a partnership with The Jockey Club in ownership of Blood-Horse will enhance Blood-Horse’s ability to serve its customers, especially on digital platforms.”

Simultaneously with the closing, Blood-Horse announced the appointment of John K. Keitt Jr. as chief executive officer and publisher. Keitt has served as a senior executive, corporate attorney, and consultant with broad experience in the media and technology areas. He was the senior vice president of Global Business for The Associated Press in New York City from 2003 – 2006, and he has also been a business and legal advisor to a wide range of Thoroughbred industry organizations since 1986.

Keitt will be based at the Blood-Horse offices in Lexington, Ky., starting today.

Blood-Horse will continue to cover the issues, events and personalities in our industry in a journalistically sound manner going forward,” Phipps said. “The Jockey Club and its affiliated companies have many longstanding business and editorial relationships with other media organizations in this industry, and we will strive to maintain and enhance those relationships. We are pleased to welcome aboard John Keitt as Blood-Horse’s new business leader.”

The purchase is effective immediately and financial details related to the transaction will not be disclosed. The transaction does not include ownership of The Horse, which will remain with TOBA and operate separately. Marla Bickel, the CEO and publisher of Blood-Horse Publications, will transition into a role as CEO and publisher of The Horse.

The Jockey Club and TOBA have collaborated on numerous Thoroughbred industry initiatives through the years. The most recent example is OwnerView, an owner development resource that was created in 2012 and is managed jointly by The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. and TOBA.

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