NTRA Seals TV Deal; 2002 Budget on Track

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has approved a contract extension with ESPN for television coverage, and also reported that 82% of the sellers and consignors at the Keeneland July yearling sale contributed financially to the organization to fund legislative endeavors.

The NTRA board met via telephone conference Aug. 1. The television deal, discussed at the board's last face-to-face meeting, assures that NTRA Productions and ESPN will continue to work toward broadcasting the sport's top events through 2008.

Through the first six months of this year, the joint NTRA/Breeders' Cup budget is on target, officials said. The voluntary contributions from auctions--0.25% of the sale price for a horse--help fund the NTRA's legislative initiatives, particularly in Washington, D.C.

The board also said it has formed group-purchasing partnerships with Toshiba Business Solutions and Automated Graphic Systems, a division of CGX, and that it expects to name new U.S. and international sponsors by early September, in time for the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

The board will next meet at Arlington Park Sept. 27, a few days before its annual meeting in Las Vegas. The annual meeting will be linked with the organization's Marketing Summit this year.