Final Plans for Racing Tour Set for Discussion

With a business plan in place, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association plans to meet with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup the week of April 14 to discuss plans for the Thoroughbred Championship Tour, a proposed for-profit, owner-driven racing series.

Plans for the TCT became known last year, and a business plan has been in the works since that time. The NTRA and Breeders' Cup formed a committee to study the proposal, which would feature high-profile Thoroughbred races on national television. The races would complement existing televised stakes, according to preliminary plans discussed last year.

The TOBA board of directors met April 11 in Lexington to discuss the TCT and other matters. As of late morning, the board continued to meet, but on April 10, TOBA president Dan Metzger said the TCT business plan was in final form.

"We're in the process of presenting it to different industry groups," Metzger said. "It has a lot of momentum to it. A lot of high-profile owners are involved, and a lot of owners who aren't on the front pages all the time have been working behind the scenes."

The general concept is to link top races in the country as lead-ins to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Many ideas for long-term funding, including revenue from a percentage of pari-mutuel handle, have been floated, but owners most likely would provide the initial investment.

Metzger said TOBA is focusing its energy on three areas: uniform medication and drug testing, its Greatest Game new-owner initiative, and the TCT. The Greatest Game recently held its first lottery, during which prospective owners were linked with bloodstock consultants.