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Apr 28, 2006

Top man at NTRA announces retirement


Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - D.G. Van Clief, Jr., the Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and President of Breeders' Cup Limited, has announced his retirement effective by the end of 2006.

"D.G. has been a guiding force and steady hand throughout the entire existence of both the Breeders' Cup and NTRA," said Breeders' Cup Limited Chairman William Farish, Jr., "and the industry has been the beneficiary of his exemplary leadership."

In the fall of 1982, Van Clief became Executive Director of the Breeders' Cup and was appointed President in 1996.

Van Clief was named founding Chairman of the NTRA and served as its interim CEO until April 1998. Tim Smith succeeded him as Commissioner and CEO. Van Clief became NTRA Vice Chairman in 2001 when the business operations of the Breeders' Cup Limited and NTRA were combined.

Smith left the NTRA in 2004 necessitating Van Clief to become Commissioner and CEO of the NTRA again.

"In the last two years we have positioned the NTRA and Breeders' Cup for success," noted Van Clief. "When I assumed management responsibilities for the joint operation in 2004, it was with the understanding that I would do it for two years. Now is the right time to proceed with a management transition."

Business operations of the Breeders' Cup and NTRA were combined in 2001 in a joint management agreement that runs through 2010. The agreement is currently under review by both boards, as mandated by the agreement.

The Eclipse Award of Merit was bestowed on Van Clief in 1998 to recognize his service to thoroughbred racing.

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