The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Wagering Systems Task Force has enlisted a panel of business experts, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to find out what caused purses to drop in 2003 even though national handle increasedThe task force will conduct a systematic review to determine the reason why purse levels did not keep pace with handle last year. Among the possible factors to be examined are changing wagering patterns (on-track to off-track), the proliferation of rebating, signal piracy, betting exchanges, and reduction in "churn" due to computer-assisted wagering.Giuliani Partners will participate in the study along with National Economic Research Associates; Richard Cirillo, the NTRA's antitrust counsel; and an intellectual property specialist."The NTRA Board, along with others, believes that it is essential to determine the facts in this situation, the reasons behind the recent purse declines and the best alternatives available to promote renewed growth including both track commissions and owner purses," said NTRA commissioner Tim Smith. "We plan on taking the same approach as used on the wagering security issues last year: gather the relevant expertise and information, involve all major stakeholders and shape coordinated policy responses based on as much consensus and solid analysis as possible."NTRA, Breeders' Cup, The Jockey Club, and Keeneland have provided the initial funding for the study. NTRA deputy commissioner Greg Avioli serves as the task force's chairman.