09/23/2004 11:00PM

Clay to head NTRA panel

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The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has appointed Robert Clay, the owner of Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky, to lead a committee that will establish the qualifications for a new chief executive of the organization, the NTRA said Friday.

The NTRA's former chief executive, Tim Smith, resigned effective Sept. 1 to pursue a job with the New York Racing Association. Negotiations between Smith and NYRA broke down, however, and Smith has said he is attempting to develop a plan to restructure the sport in New York.

Since Smith's resignation, the NTRA has been headed on an interim basis by D.G. Van Clief, who will continue to act as the chief executive and commissioner while the search for a replacement goes on, the NTRA said.

The NTRA board has also approved a resolution to establish a permanent National Office of Wagering Security. Establishment of the office was a recommendation of a task force that examined racing's bet-processing network in the aftermath of the 2002 Breeders' Cup pick six scandal.