NTRA Subcommittee Will Consider Advisory Panel's Report

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's board of directors on Tuesday appointed a subcommittee to continue discussions with an advisory committee that has issued a 15-page report recommending some changes within the organization.

Among other suggestions, the independent member advisory committee chaired by Maryland Jockey Club chairman Joe DeFrancis recommends NTRA adopt a new business model and a "bill of rights" to be ratified by the general membership. According to the action Tuesday at the meeting in Washington, D.C., the NTRA board subcommittee will continue discussions with the DeFrancis group on its recommendations. The advisory committee's report was also discussed at the board meeting.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the board received an update on the technology services initiative with IBM Global Services, including "possible alternatives for structure and ownership of the proposed new venture" based on recent additional analysis by Equibase chairman and CEO Alan Marzelli. In its report, the DeFrancis advisory committee said the possible purchase and operation of a national totalizator company that is part of the IBM Global initiative should not be pursued during the development period of the project.

In other action Tuesday, the NTRA board:

•Approved the agreement between the NTRA and Breeders' Cup for consolidated operations of the two organizations and reviewed current financial reports and a preliminary 2001 budget for the combined NTRA-Breeders' Cup operating entity;
•Approved election procedures and timing for the previously approved expansion of the NTRA Board from 11 members to 15. Two of the new seats would be occupied by Thoroughbred Racing Associations racetracks, and the other two by Breeders' Cup appointees who would represents owners and horsemen;
•Approved 2001 membership agreements and dues for presentation at the NTRA annual meeting to be held in Lexington, Ky., on October 12-13;
•Received reports on pending legislative matters and on the NTRA Task
Force on Economic Regulation; and
•Received regular status reports on advertising, marketing, television and sponsorship, along with updates relating to NTRA Charities and the NTRA Racing Integrity and Drug Testing Task Force.