Tim Smith

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John Deere Cuts Breeders' Cup Turf Deal

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The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Limited have announced that John Deere will have entitlement rights to the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf, its was announced Friday. The Turf is one of eight races that comprise the $13 million Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. John Deere, the NTRA's official supplier of farm equipment, was the presenting sponsor of the 2001 edition of the Breeders' Cup Turf.

NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund Disburses $2.25 Million

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At a luncheon honoring New York and Nassau County law enforcement personnel, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Breeder Cup Limited and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) distributed $2.5 million from the NTRA Charities - New York Heroes Fund to 11 local organizations aiding families affected by the World Trade Center attack. Th ceremony marks the second distribution of Heroes Fund monies to Sept. 11-related charities and brings the fund's total disbursements to $3.5 million.

NTRA to Conduct Further Consumer Research

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The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Friday announced plans to launch new consumer research to measure attitudes toward horseracing, with a goal of identifying the most effective advertising message that will help turn casual fans into more frequent racegoers.

'Great State Challenge' Generates Interest

National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup officials said Thursday the new "Great State Challenge" program has the potential to open up many new sponsorship opportunities for horse racing. The program, which will feature the top state-breds in the country, will be held sometime in the last three months of 2002.

NTRA Focus: Finances, Economic Stimulation

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and resulting war on terrorism have led the National Thoroughbred Racing Association to revamp its 2002 budget. It will trim spending in some areas, and funnel the money to an economic stimulus package designed to drive handle and attendance at racetracks.

How We Can Help

By Tim Smith -- One consequence of earth-shattering events like the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 is that they cause almost everyone to revisit such basics: What things are important (or not)? What do I believe? What should I do? How can I help?

Meadowlands, Monmouth Rejoin NTRA

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and its two racetracks--Meadowlands and Monmouth Park--are rejoining the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, effective Jan. 1, 2002, it was announced by both organizations on Friday.

Goal Doubled for New York Heroes Fund

Due to a flood of early, generous contributions, the NTRA, Breeders' Cup Limited, and the New York Racing Association announced Friday it was doubling its goal for the NTRA Charities -- New York Heroes Fund to $2 million. The Heroes Fund, set up by the organizations a week ago, will aid the families of New York firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel, and other victims who perished in the terrorist attacks on New York Sept. 11.

Racing Industry Reacts to 'Unprecedented Tragedy'

Thoroughbred racing and simulcasting at major locations in the United States shut down Tuesday due to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Many also planned to close Wednesday. The commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association said it could take a while "to sort out the implications for the country, as well as our business."

Chip Campbell Named to NTRA Post

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association today announced the appointment of Chip Campbell to the newly created position of Senior Vice President-Television and Sponsorship, effective Aug. 1. Campbell will be based at the NTRA's New York office.

NTRA Hires Senior VP of Television, Sponsorship

Chip Campbell, who has a background in sports marketing and sponsorship, has been named senior vice president of television and sponsorship for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. He will begin Aug. 1 and be based at the NTRA's New York office.

What's in a Name? Everything ... And Nothing

The new "World Thoroughbred Championships" and rebranding of the Breeders' Cup aren't as confusing as they appear, industry officials said in the wake of their announcement Tuesday. In short, the changes could mean everything to the general public, and very little to people within the Thoroughbred industry.

Racing and Breeding Caucus Holds First Meeting

The new Racing and Breeding Caucus met Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C., for what the horse industry hopes was the first of many meetings that will raise the awareness level of legislators. About 20 people were present at the one-hour meeting.

On Heels of Triple Crown Success, Imus and Francesa Eye Breeders' Cup Bets

WFAN radio sports personality Mike Francesa said on Thursday's syndicated "Imus in the Morning" show that the National Thoroughbred Racing Association has offered Francesa $80,000 in charity wagers for the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup--$10,000 for each of the eight championship races -- similar to the promotion that the NTRA worked out with Imus and Francesa for the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

NTRA Board to Review Revised Business Plan

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors will review a revised business plan that extends through 2005, and also consider a plan to rebrand and reposition the Breeders' Cup championship, during its meeting Friday morning at Arlington Park in Illinois.

Charity Wagers Considered for Big Apple Breeders' Cup

The success of a charity promotion on the "Imus in the Morning" radio show has led National Thoroughbred Racing Association officials to consider a similar endeavor tied to this year's Breeders' Cup championship Oct. 27 at Belmont Park.

NTRA, Horse Council Continue Disaster Relief Meetings With Federal Officials

American Horse Council president Jay Hickey and National Thoroughbred Racing Association deputy commissioner Greg Avioli are meeting in Washington, D.C., Tuesday afternoon with Caroly Cooksie, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster relief loan programs. The meeting is a follow-up to talks held last week in Washington involving Hickey and NTRA commissioner Tim Smith and a number of federal legislators, including Rep. Larry Combest, an Amarillo, Texas, Republican who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

Federal Aid Not Currently Available; NTRA, AHC Begin Lobbying Efforts

Industry organizations have taken a proactive stand in the wake of the fetal loss syndrome that has gripped Central Kentucky farms in recent weeks. Tim Smith, commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, has been in contact with federal officials and is planning to spend most of Wednesday and Thursday morning in the nation's capital, meeting with members of Congress and staff to discuss the possibility of federal assistance for breeders who are being financially crippled by the health crisis. But Smith had some bad news about existing federal programs.

NTRA to Shift Advertising Strategy

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will shift its advertising strategy this summer to target sports fans who wager on horse racing about twice a year. To that end, it will rely heavily on ads that will appear on ESPN network channels. In addition, the Breeders' Cup championship will be "repositioned" to give it greater public awareness, NTRA commissioner Tim Smith said.

Smith: Still Much Work to be Done at NTRA

National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith, who took the position in April 1998, said there's still a lot of work to be done. And he plans to stick around to do it. Though his first three years are up this April, Smith's contract automatically provides for a one-year extension with a year's advance notice. Because no action was taken last year, Smith's contract is now good through 2002. If the same thing happens this April, it will be good through 2003.

Mid-Atlantic Tracks to NTRA: 'We're Out'

Racetracks in the Mid-Atlantic region, having failed to win concessions from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors, have no intention of rejoining the NTRA any time soon. But the NTRA insists the negotiations will continue. "I'm disappointed," Penn National Gaming president Bill Bork said. "What it boiled down to was this: We asked them, 'Don't compete with us.' The board rejected that, and unless we can solve that issue, we're out."

NTRA, Breeders' Cup Announce Organizational Structure

With their joint operating agreement having been in place since Jan. 1, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup have announced organizational structures in regard to personnel. There are some changes in the laundry list of names and titles.

Programming Change: Same-Day Coverage of Florida Derby

The $1-million Florida Derby, a major prep race for the Kentucky Derby, will air during a special segment on SportsCenter Saturday, March 10, on ESPN2. Airtime for SportsCenter on March 10 is 6:00-7:00 p.m. (ET), with wire-to-wire coverage of the Florida Derby scheduled to be shown approximately one hour after the live running of the Grade I race for 3-year-olds from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla.

Eclipse Awards: Tiznow and the Mayne Event

On a night of comedic one-liners, most of them from the hilarious emcee, Kenny Mayne, National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith said the single phrase most of the 500 people attending Tuesday's 30th annual Eclipse Awards dinner at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, La., were waiting to hear. When he opened the envelope containing the name of the Horse of the Year for 2000, Smith said simply: "Congratulations California, it's Tiznow."

Sink or Swim

By Ray Paulick -- In its first three years, the NTRA has proven it can put out fires -- and there have been many. It's what happens next that is really important, because putting out fires was not what the NTRA's commissioner, Tim Smith, was hired to do. If Smith and his top aides no longer are required to spend most of their time and energy keeping the organization intact, we finally will be able to gauge how effective this national office for racing can be.

Resolution May Be Near in Magna-NTRA Conflict

A Sunday evening meeting between Magna chairman Frank Stronach and members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors was called "constructive" and could lead to a resolution within two weeks, officials said in a joint statement released Monday. Magna's seven racetracks were among the 22 that defected from the NTRA in late October. "There was give and take on a number of topics," the statement said. "We did not agree on every issue, but...the participants confirmed their strong mutual commitment to advancing the interests of horseracing. We are optimistic about the prospects of working together in the future with Magna's racetracks as members of the NTRA."

Dissidents Present Case to NTRA Board; Stronach Discussions Continue

No major developments emerged from a meeting of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors, which was presented with a report prepared by many of the 22 racetracks that said they are dropping out of the NTRA at the end of the year. Meanwhile, the organization plans to continue discussions with Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach concerning his proposals for the NTRA.

TCA Auction Tops $1 Million

A two-location auction of over 200 stallion seasons has raised more than $1 million for the Thoroughbred Charities of America (The exact dollar figure will be released when all tallies are complete).

Breeders' Cup Drama: Juvenile Trophy Presentation

Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach went two-for-three as a Thoroughbred owner in Saturday's Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs with a couple of nail-biting finishes. But the real drama unfolded in the winner's circle after the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), when Stronach was presented a trophy by National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith.

Meeting Set Between Meeker, NTRA Defectors

A meeting has been scheduled for Nov. 9 between Churchill Downs president Tom Meeker and representatives of 22 racetracks that have or will defect from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as of Dec. 31. The 22 member tracks account for almost $2.5 million in annual NTRA dues.

NTRA Pushes For Total Support

With only a month before 2001 membership commitments are due, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association apparently has made progress in several key areas, and pledged Thursday morning to strive for 100% industry participation.

Gore Clarifies Position on Interstate Wagering

A spokesman for the Gore-Lieberman 2000 campaign in Kentucky issued a statement on Friday concerning Vice President Al Gore's position on interstate off-track wagering, which has been under attack from the Clinton White House's Justice Department.

Major Stakes+Promotion=Bigger Crowds

A day highlighted by such major races as the Whitney and Haskell Handicaps, coupled with a $1-million voucher promotion and the second annual Claiming Crown, resulted in larger crowds at most U.S. tracks on Sunday, according to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

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