Breeders from the United States and Canada were honored Sept. 5 during a luncheon that included a call for the industry to get behind efforts to restore the NTRA Great State Challenge to the racing calendar for 2004.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors has decided to scrap the Great State Challenge for this year given lack of sponsorship, but it hopes the event, inaugurated in 2002, will return next year.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association continues to examine a vehicle to bring back the Great State Challenge later this year, and also is working with Visa in regard to a policy change that has hindered state-sanctioned account wagering in the United States.
Though a self-imposed deadline has passed, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association continues to look for ways to bring back the Great State Challenge for 2003. Sponsors are being sought in earnest for the event, which debuted last year.
The Great State Challenge will return to the calendar in 2003 if agreements are reached between a host site and horsemen's groups, and if "financial and other adjustments" are made, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association said Feb. 13 after a board of directors meeting in Florida.
It came down to the last race of the Great State Challenge, with Kentucky edging out Florida for bragging rights of the inaugural event held today at Sam Houston Race Park.
Take Charge Lady and Forbidden Apple are among the favorites in their divisions of Saturday's Great State Challenge at Sam Houston Race Park.
With only one-week rest, Take Charge Lady is ready to anchor Team Kentucky in the inaugural Great State Challenge on Dec. 7 at Sam Houston Race Park.
Invitations were extended Monday, Nov. 25, to the connections of the 84 ranked horses in the NTRA Great State Challenge. The NTRA Great State Challenge, presented by John Deere and Fed Ex and to be held at Sam Houston Race Park on Dec. 7, is comprised of six races, each worth $275,000 and boasting full fields representing some of the finest state-bred runners in America.
Horsemen's associations from 11 states have submitted their selections for starting positions in the first NTRA Great State Challenge, presented by John Deere and Fed Ex, on Dec. 7 at Sam Houston Race Park in Texas.
Calder Race Course will host the inaugural Florida Million on Nov. 16. Of the day's 12 live races, six added-money races offer $1 million in purses to Florida-bred horses in six divisions.
The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association will have more power over how purse money is spent under a measure recently signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis.
The Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has officially withdrawn from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The horsemen's group intends to stay out of the NTRA as long as Oaklawn Park, the state's only Thoroughbred racetrack, is not a member.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Friday that the inaugural $1.5 million NTRA Great State Challenge will be run at Sam Houston Race Park, in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, December 7, 2002.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors approved a $60-million operating budget for 2002, and officially chose Sam Houston Race Park in Texas to serve as host site of the first Great State Challenge late next year.
Depending upon the outcome of discussions at its board meeting Oct. 9, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association may announce the details of a proposed regional Breeders' Cup program during its annual meeting Oct. 10-11 in Lexington. It would entail six races worth $1.5 million.
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