11/25/2003 1:00AM

NTRA yields symposium spot


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will not close this year's University of Arizona Symposium on Racing with a year-end presentation, ending a five-year run in the closing spot at the annual conference.

The decision to forgo the presentation was made mutually between the NTRA and organizers at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, which administers the conference, according to university and NTRA officials. The NTRA has closed the conference with a two-hour presentation every year since the organization was formed in 1997.

"When they were first formed, we thought it was more of an announcement, so we said to them, 'Would you like to do this,' " said Doug Reed, the coordinator of the racetrack program. "Now it seems more important that they are represented on individual panels."

The NTRA typically used the closing spot to preview its upcoming advertising campaign, review the prior year's projects, and comment on industry developments. Some critics had said it amounted to an advertisement for the association.

An NTRA official said it believes it can better address the industry at its own annual meeting, typically held in September in Las Vegas, and at the Round Table conference in August in Saratoga.