06/01/2005 11:00PM

NTRA keeps Calif. Owners

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The Thoroughbred Owners of California has committed to a new five-year membership in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the NTRA and TOC announced Thursday.

With the agreement, effective for the years 2006 through 2010, the California owners' group became the first organization to renew its membership in the NTRA, a national marketing association for racing that was launched in 1998 and merged with the Breeders' Cup in 2001. Current four-year membership agreements expire Dec 31.

The TOC is one of 14 groups with a seat on the NTRA's board of directors.

According to the NTRA's annual report, membership dues will total $16.9 million in 2005, or approximately 26 percent of the NTRA's $65.6 million budget this year. The annual membership fees for tracks and horsemen's groups, which has been based on live ontrack handle, has been reduced 25 percent for the 2006-2010 contracts, according to Keith Chamblin, the NTRA's vice president of marketing and industry development.