Breeders' Cup Tackles NTRA Deal, NYRA Situation

Breeders' Cup Tackles NTRA Deal, NYRA Situation
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Breeders' Cup president D. G. Van Clief, said plans are still on for the Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors didn't take formal action during an Oct. 4 retreat but did reach consensus on extension of the organization's management agreement with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

In an unrelated matter, Breeders' Cup president and NTRA commissioner D.G. Van Clief Jr. said officials have discussed the rapidly developing situation in New York, where the New York Racing Association has said it's running out of money. Belmont Park, operated by NYRA, is scheduled to host the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 29.

"We've had discussions on the circumstances in New York," Van Clief said. "At this point, we're planning on moving ahead with our plans for Belmont."

When asked if Breeders' Cup is concerned about the possibility of NYRA filing for bankruptcy, or not being able to meet its financial obligations, Van Clief said: "It's premature and inappropriate to be specific about the nature of our discussions (with NYRA officials)."

The board retreat was designed to look at the Breeders' Cup joint operating agreement with the NTRA, re-evaluate the mission of Breeders' Cup, and examine the organization's governance structure with a close look at committees. Van Clief called the meeting productive and said the idea was to reach a consensus, not take formal action.

The board will meet later this year and perhaps take action at that time.

"In most cases we did reach consensus," Van Clief said. "I would say the general consensus of the board was to extend the management contract (with the NTRA) with some modifications. It will be designed to provide (Breeders' Cup) with a more active role in the decision-making process with the NTRA going forward."

The joint operating agreement, designed for 10 years, began in 2001 and is at its renewal point. The NTRA, meanwhile, announced several major membership renewals for 2006-10 but continues to seek support from other racetracks and horsemen's associations.

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