07/14/2005 11:00PM

Proposed race series stalls

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The Thoroughbred Champion-ship Tour, a proposed racing series funded principally by owners, has suspended operations after failing to gather enough support for the concept, the organizers of the proposed series announced late Friday.

The Thoroughbred Champion-ship Tour was envisioned as a series of televised stakes races leading up the Breeders' Cup that would be open to horses nominated to it. Supporters of the series had pledged to provide $25 million to the project to fund purse increases for the stakes races and to buy television time on weekends to broadcast the races live.

Though the Breeders' Cup had voted to provide $3 million in funding to the proposed series if it got off the ground, the board of directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association tabled a recent vote on whether to support the series at a meeting last month.

In addition, the series made slow progress in convincing tracks to support the series, according to a release from the group.

"After years of intensive efforts to work with all parties," said the statement, "the TCT board has not received complete cooperation and support and is not prepared to invest $25 million into a venture without it."