03/02/2006 1:00AM

NTRA, Cup boards meet, talk renewal


Discussions between the boards of directors of Breeders' Cup Ltd. and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association on a new operating agreement were "very productive," the president of both organizations, D.G. Van Clief, said Thursday after a two-day meeting of the two groups.

The groups' current operating agreement expires Dec. 31, with a renewal decision called for by Sept. 1.

The discussions, held in Hollywood, Fla., were the first joint meetings conducted between the two boards, despite five years of operation as a merged organization.

Breeders' Cup and the NTRA merged in 2001 under a 10-year agreement that included an opt-out after five years. At the five-year renewal point, the Breeders' Cup board approved a one-year renewal agreement.

Since then, the Breeders' Cup board has been pared from 46 members to 13. Van Clief said Thursday that the two boards had never held joint meetings before because of the "unwieldy size" of the former Breeders' Cup board.

Also at the meeting, the boards heard a presentation from Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, about that group's plan to form an office of wagering security. Earlier this month, committees of both organizations approved a cooperative effort on the office, but the plan still needs to be approved by the boards of both groups.