After a one-year hiatus from the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey is back, seeking his third win in the classic. Bailey, 47, who also just released his autobiography "Against the Odds: Riding for My Life," is booked to ride Florida Derby (gr. I) winner High Fly for trainer Nick Zito.
Two major horsemen's groups in key racing states are reassessing their membership in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, officials said. Meanwhile, some non-members are at least considering rejoining the organization pending review of the new NTRA strategic plan.
The NTRA Jockey Accident Insurance Working Group, in a report that appears mostly advisory in nature, has suggested all segments of the racing industry, including jockeys, help pay for additional insurance coverage for riders.
Just days after the National Thoroughbred Racing Association said it would make the creation of an Office of Wagering Security a priority, officials indicated there could be conflict over who would run the office, as well as questions about its autonomy.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which went outside the industry for its first commissioner, has decided to stay within the industry in keeping its second. D.G. Van Clief Jr., who was named commissioner following the resignation of Tim Smith last July, will remain in the position.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's strategic plan for 2006-10 calls for a 25% reduction in membership dues, said NTRA officials who hope to have the renewal process completed this summer.
With a large increase in the number of horse owners that supplied information, a new economic impact study for the horse industry, the first in almost 10 years, is expected to be more statistically reliable than its 1996 counterpart.
The University of Kentucky and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced the establishment of the Joe Hirsch Scholarship, which annually will provide full, one-year tuition to one student who is interested in pursuing a career in Thoroughbred racing journalism.
National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Commissioner D.G.Van Clief Jr. will address the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club's (KTFMC) monthly meeting May 3 at the Crowne Plaza in Lexington. In addition to an update from Van Clief on the NTRA, Greg Avioli will discuss racing industry legislation.
Television Games Network (TVG), the Race For Education and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) have joined forces to offer a three-month summer internship with TVG's Production Department in Los Angeles for a college junior or senior (as of Fall 2005) studying broadcasting or journalism.
Total wagering on United States horseracing declined by 6% across North America during the first quarter of 2005, while purses and racing days also dipped, according to statistics released Feb. 8 by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Total handle on United States Thoroughbred racing in North America, as well as U.S. Thoroughbred purses, were down in the first quarter of 2005 compared with the first quarter in 2004, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase said.
A World Trade Organization report released April 7 upholds the position of the United States to protect itself from illegal Internet gambling but also calls into question the fairness of the Interstate Horseracing Act.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will offer a national pick three wager "the NTRA Spring Pick 3" on three of the nationally televised races airing live April 9 on NBC from 4-6 p.m.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced today that vouchers worth a total $2.2 million, including a $1 million grand prize, have been mailed to more than 420,000 consumers as part of next week's NTRA Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotion. The vouchers are redeemable for cash April 9 at participating racetracks and OTBs. The voucher giveaway is the NTRA's 10th such promotion since August 2000.
The New Jersey Racing Commission and New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association made official March 31 a legal settlement that allows the state racing industry to proceed with plans to host the 2007 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Monmouth Park.
NTRA Purchasing, which has reached out to equine organizations outside the Thoroughbred industry, is close to signing up the United States Trotting Association, which has more than 25,000 individual members and 45 member racetracks.
Churchill Downs Inc. will offer a $1-million bonus to a Twin Spires Club member that wins of one of the company's qualifying tournaments and the 2006 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.
The number of people in the United States who said they are interested in Thoroughbred racing increased for a fifth consecutive year, according to national consumer research data released March 21 by ESPN Sports Poll, a division of TNS Sport.
NetJets, the New Jersey-based private aviation company, has renewed its marketing partnership with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup.
UltraCade Technologies, Breeders' Cup Limited, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) have released a new, officially licensed arcade game, "Breeders' Cup – Tournament Edition" at the Amusement Showcase International (ASI). The ASI show was attended by nearly 3,300 members of the coin-op industry, which is comprised largely of video game distributors and operators.
The board of directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association continued to hammer out a long-range strategic plan during a March 3 meeting, but the plan isn't yet ready for a rollout before the general membership.
Though racing companies and racetracks in major jurisdictions have taken steps to increase minimum insurance benefits for jockeys injured on track, an industry working group continues to look for long-term solutions and expand the coverage to all tracks.
Trying to piggyback on the phenomenal success of televised poker, the racing industry has high hopes for ESPN's one-hour program covering the National Handicapping Championship, which will air Sunday, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. ET.
William S. Farish Jr. will return as the chairman of the board of directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Political Action Committee, the NTRA announced Feb. 11.
This year's Breeders' Cup Stakes program will offer $7.3 million in purse money spread over 125 stakes. Included are 69 graded stakes in the United States and 15 graded stakes in Canada.
Gulfstream Park has increased its on-track medical insurance for jockeys from $100,000 to $500,000 through the end of its current meet, which concludes April 24.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced today that Grey Goose vodka has become an official sponsor of the NTRA and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Grey Goose will also receive sponsorship rights at several other NTRA-member racetracks, including Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie and Saratoga Race Course.
Jamie Michelson Jr., a 39-year-old advertising account director from West Bloomfield, Michigan, connected on a key upset and captured the $200,000 winner's check in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship at Bally's Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which has called 2005 a pivotal year, is working on a revised dues formula that would generate the same amount of money, if not more, yet be more equitable in light of changes in the industry since the organization launched in 1997.
Defending champion Kent Meyer of Sioux City, Iowa heads a field of 214 horseplayers who will gather at Bally's Las Vegas on Jan. 21-22 to vie for horse racing's official title of "Handicapper of the Year" and a first-place prize of $200,000 in the $400,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has endorsed a white paper on simulcasting and also heralded its support of industry efforts to police the sport in the wake of federal indictments in New York.
National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner D.G. Van Clief Jr. Saturday called upon all facets of the industry to accelerate implementation of recommendations for increased regulatory oversight of participants in U.S. pari-mutuel wagering pools.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has issued a statement regarding the alleged race-fixing scheme at Aqueduct.
Joe Bailey, former deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, has joined Dolphins Enterprises, a sports and entertainment company formed by Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga.
A record 15,850 foals were nominated to the Breeders' Cup program in 2004, Breeders' Cup officials said Jan. 13.
Total Thoroughbred purses increased 3.42%--mostly from a limited number of sources--in 2004, while total handle on Thoroughbred races run in the United States declined less than 1%, according to a year-end "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" report released Jan. 12.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - It is probably an understatement to say that 2005 is going to be a challenging year for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association/Breeders' Cup. The direction and mission of the organization could be subject to change as it navigates crossroads on the near horizon.
The amount of money Breeders' Cup contributes to the Thoroughbred Championship Tour beginning in 2006 will hinge on the television contracts negotiated this year by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association for next year and beyond.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Ltd., in conjunction with the Thoroughbred Club of America, will honor the breeders of the 2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships race winners Jan. 8 at its 11th annual dinner at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington .
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has altered the roles of several staff members to reflect priorities for 2005 as well as its long-term strategy, commissioner D.G. Van Clief Jr. said in a Dec. 20 release. The changes take effect Jan. 1.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The execution of Magna's vision has been difficult given its isolationist philosophy.
UltraCade Technologies, Breeders' Cup Ltd. and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Tuesday unveiled a coin- operated horse racing game called Breeders' Cup Tournament Edition.
With membership contracts set to expire at the end of 2005, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is formulating a long-range strategy that is expected to rely on dues in some form. Meanwhile, the search for a chief executive officer won't begin until the master plan is in place.
Churchill Downs president Steve Sexton has set a Dec. 7 deadline for the Jockeys' Guild to respond to a letter asking the organization to account for the $1.25 million CDI racetracks have given to the rider's organization over the past three years.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Jockeys' Medical Insurance Panel has identified several consensus points and hopes to have recommendations in place by Dec. 31, officials said after the panel's first meeting Nov. 22 at Turfway Park in Kentucky.
A top official with the Jockeys' Guild has questioned the purpose of a new task force on insurance and indicated a resolution wouldn't be reached until the industry recognizes it must deal with Dr. Wayne Gertmenian, president and chief executive officer of the Guild.
As two more winter Thoroughbred meets prepare to open, management is lining up commitments from jockeys in the wake of walkouts at Churchill Downs and Hoosier Park. Meanwhile, members of an insurance task force that will meet for the first time Nov. 22 hope to maintain focus and expedite recommendations.
The national push for upgraded medical insurance for jockeys could be impacted by turmoil at the Jockeys' Guild, whose members apparently aren't all on the same page in terms of a strategy going forward.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association working group on insurance, members of which were named Nov. 16, will hold its first meeting Nov. 22.
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