NTRA, Breeders' Cup OK $54M Operating Budget

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Ltd. have approved a 2001 joint operating budget of $54 million. The budget, approved Friday during a board of directors meeting in South Florida, includes $2 million from Magna Entertainment-owned tracks and other tracks that recently rejoined the NTRA
The meeting marked the first for the new 15-member board. Magna Entertainment's Jim McAlpine sat in for Magna chairman Frank Stronach, who missed what would have been his first board meeting. Fair Grounds president Bryan Krantz, who returned to the board this month after an election in the South region, participated by telephone.

One issue discussed during the session was the operation of the Oregon wagering hub by NTRA Services.

"We're looking at it with (the TV Games Network) to explore scenarios that can be beneficial to all parties," NTRA spokesman Eric Wing said. "Both sides would agree things haven't worked out...as was hoped. Our goals are to generate cash flow and maximize distribution."

The betting hub has been a sore point with some racetracks who believe the NTRA shouldn't compete with its dues-paying members. Wing said no definitive action was taken regarding operation of the hub.

In other business, the board discussed a plan to increase the funding and promotion of state-bred championship days, a concept discussed last October during the NTRA's first membership meeting. Wing said everything from purse supplements to marketing support was on the table, but again, no final decision was made.