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Handle, Purses Up through First Quarter of 2006

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The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Equibase Company released the "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for United States and Canadian pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing during the first quarter of 2006, as well as for U.S. purses and race days, with prior-year, first-quarter comparisons.

National Pick 4 Schedule Announced by NTRA

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced the 2006 schedule of National Pick 4 wagers available at wagering outlets nationwide March 31. All six wagers are tied to ABC/ESPN racing telecasts.

RCI Convention Addresses Federal Regulation

Racing is in need of some forms of additional federal regulation according to a panel of experts at the 72nd annual convention of the Association of Racing Commissioners International. The general consensus was reached Wednesday morning during a panel discussion titled, "Is Federal Regulation Necessary for Racing?"

Credibility Gap

By Ray Paulick - Election of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club executive vice president Craig Fravel as the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's new board chairman was considered such a momentous occasion that it took 19 days for the NTRA to issue a press release on the subject--and only after receiving an inquisitive call from a reporter.

Fravel Takes Over as NTRA Chairman of the Board

In an ongoing restructuring of the jointly operated National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup, the NTRA said Del Mar vice president Craig Fravel has replaced NTRA commissioner D.G. Van Clief Jr. as chairman of the NTRA board of directors.

2006 Breeders' Cup Ticketing Process Begins

Officials of Breeders' Cup Limited and Churchill Downs announced March 21 that ticket applications for the 2006 Breeders' Cup World Championships are now available. The 23rd Breeders' Cup, consisting of eight grade I races with purses and awards totaling $14 million, will be held Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Giacomo Ready for Big 'Cap

Trainer John Shirreffs said Giacomo will be ready when the gates spring open Saturday for the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I). The Big 'Cap will be the second start of the year for the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner who began his 4-year-old season with a third-place effort in the Feb. 4 Strub Stakes (gr. II).

California Ponders Offshore Betting Options

Frustrated with the lack of federal prosecution of illegal offshore gambling operations, the California Horse Racing Board is considering action to curtail the advertising and promotion of such activity by publications and broadcasters.

RCI Circulating Draft of Model Wagering Rules

The Association of Racing Commissioners International is circulating a draft overhaul of model rules governing wagering that would require, among other things, validation of all wagers by the host racetrack and transparency of all wagering activity to regulators.

Eight-Show Derby Prep Package On ABC, ESPN

"Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," an eight-show series on ABC and the ESPN networks that provides comprehensive coverage of the key Triple Crown prep races, returns on March 18, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Feb. 8.

Free Ride

By Ray Paulick - Owners and breeders who have become increasingly critical of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association point to a funding imbalance that shows racetracks lagging behind in their financial contributions to the organization.

NTRA to Meet With RCI on Wagering Security Plan

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has formed a subcommittee to meet with representatives of the Association of Racing Commissioners International to examine a joint effort in forming a national Office of Wagering Integrity.

Wagering Integrity Issue May Be Coming to a Head

Just two days before the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors meets to perhaps finalize plans for a national Office of Wagering Integrity, the National HBPA gave its support for a wagering security program offered by the Association of Racing Commissioners International and urged racetracks and other wagering services to do the same.

Proposal Would Increase NTRA Membership, Dues

Affiliates of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association are considering a proposal that would allow them to join the National Thoroughbred Racing Association with a lump-sum payment that would increase dues 21% in the first year.

Eclipse Awards: Complete List of Winners and Voting

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Monday released the names of the winners for the 2005 Eclipse Awards. The Eclipse Awards are voted on and presented by the NTRA, Daily Racing Form, and National Turf Writers Association. The votes are tabulated and certified by Ernst & Young LLP. Winners in all categories were announced at the 35th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony, to be held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Most NTRA-Member Tracks Hike Jockeys' Insurance

Nine racetracks have increased their minimum on-track accident insurance for jockeys to $500,000 or $1 million since a Nov. 17, 2005 Congressional subcommittee hearing at which lawmakers examined jockey health, welfare, and safety issues.

New Breeders' Cup Board Ready to Tackle Major Issues

The new and streamlined board of directors of Breeders' Cup believes it's prepared to tackle several major issues, including the organization's joint operating agreement with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, a budget, and a possible increase in purses for the World Thoroughbred Championships.

Chamblin to Oversee NTRA Communications

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Keith Chamblin, formerly the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's senior vice president for marketing and industry relations, has assumed the new position of senior vice president in charge of communications, the NTRA announced Dec. 21.

Arapahoe Park Joins NTRA

Arapahoe Park, the only Thoroughbred racing facility in Colorado, has joined the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). This will mark the first time that the Aurora, Colo., racetrack has participated in the national organization.

Avioli Calls for Federal Authorization of Internet Gambling

There are many scenarios for how the United States government will respond to the World Trade Organization's April ruling in which U.S. laws on remote gambling were considered in violation of WTO commitments based on a dispute between the U.S. and Antigua over cross-boarder betting.

NTRA Moves on Breeders' Cup, Wagering Integrity

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, during a Dec. 1 meeting, approved a revised operating and licensing agreement with Breeders' Cup that will last at least one year, and received a report on what could be the first step toward formation of the long-awaited national Office of Wagering Integrity.

Bessemer Trust Renews Breeders' Cup/NTRA Agreement

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Breeders' Cup Limited, and Bessemer Trust announced Wednesday that the New York based private wealth management company has made a three year agreement extending its marketing partnership with the NTRA/Breeders' Cup.

Keeneland Continues Planning for Polytrack

Though it hasn't made an official decision on whether to install Polytrack on its main dirt track, the board of directors of Keeneland directed management Oct. 12 to continue with the planning, design, and engineering for the synthetic surface.

BC Talks Continue as Marketing Campaign Launched

As Breeders' Cup officials continued to deal with the fallout from the announcement the New York Racing Association could be nearing insolvency, they indicated Oct. 11 it's all systems go for the Oct. 29 World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park by launching a $2-million marketing push only 18 days before the event.

New NTRA Ads: 'Who Do You Like Today?'

The latest National Thoroughbred Racing Association advertising campaign will draw upon the basics that make up a fun outing at the racetrack--picking horses and socializing--in an attempt to invite newcomers to the sport.

'Big Three,' Others to Renew NTRA Membership

The three major racetrack operators -- Churchill Downs Inc., Magna Entertainment Corp., and the New York Racing Association -- have confirmed along with other racing associations and horsemen's groups the renewal of their membership in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Heiligbrodt Named to NTRA Board of Directors

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Bill Heiligbrodt, a Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association trustee, has replaced John Amerman as the TOBA representative on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors.

NTRA Approaches Critical Point on Memberships

With 2006 a little more than three months away, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association continues to push for membership renewals and seek new members in advance of its annual meeting, scheduled for Oct. 10-12 in Lexington.

Racing to the Rescue Day Planned for Oct. 8

Organizations in the horse industry are forming a major fundraising effort Oct. 8 for victims of Hurricane Katrina to be called "Racing to the Rescue Day." The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships also plans to raise funds for the cause.

NTRA Sets Up Hurricane Relief Fund

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NTRA Charities – Racing to the Rescue Fund, a special division of the NTRA's nonprofit 501 (c) (3) subsidiary NTRA Charities, has been established to receive contributions, 100% of which will be passed through to existing charities established to aid in recovery efforts.

DeVito Named President of NTRA Productions

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Veteran television executive Basil DeVito Jr., who served as senior vice president for television and sponsorship for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association from 1998-99, has rejoined the organization as president of NTRA Productions.

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