06/10/2004 11:00PM

Breeders' Cup to give $3M to new series

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The board of directors of the Breeders' Cup has approved an agreement to contribute $3 million in purse money to a planned series of summer races that is supported by an influential group of owners, the Breeders' Cup announced on Friday.

The series, which would link stakes races for several divisions of horses to a bonus scheme for participating owners, is being called the Thoroughbred Championship Tour. The tour has been developed by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, a Kentucky-based trade group.

The $3 million contribution from the Breeders' Cup will be made available only to Breeders' Cup-nominated horses in the series, said Jim Gluckson, a spokesman for Breeders' Cup. The contribution is being made from money generated from Breeders' Cup nomination fees, Gluckson said.

The series plan calls for at least five days of racing over the summer and early fall in which an unspecified number of stakes races would be held within a two-hour window. The races would be televised by purchasing television time on a national network.