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Contact: Peggy Hendershot (859) 422-2648


Progressive Grand Prizes to be Hallmark of 2002 Promotions

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that the grand prize for its Mystery Mutuel Voucher has been increased from $1 million to $1.25 million, effective with the Nov. 23 promotion that is scheduled to take place at participating NTRA member tracks and OTBs. In 2002, the NTRA will offer four Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotions, successively worth an additional $250,000 until the grand prize is won. The tentative dates for the 2002 promotions are Saturday, April 13; Saturday, July 27; Saturday, Oct. 5; and Friday, Nov. 29. A similar schedule is planned for the 2003 promotions.

Mystery Mutuel Vouchers are coded tickets, redeemable for cash at participating OTBs and racetracks, which are direct-mailed in local markets. Vouchers worth a total of $4.3 million in prizes, including the $1 million grand prize, were circulated to 1.23 million consumers in the NTRA's most recent promotion, held on July 28. With a voucher redemption rate of 8.29 percent, the promotion resulted in overall increases of 17.27 percent in attendance and 10.82 percent in wagering.

The July 28 promotion was highlighted by pari-mutuel handle increases of 277 percent at Mountaineer Park, 88 percent at Arlington Park; 60 percent at Calder Racecourse and 46 percent at the Maryland Jockey Club and at Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Club. Mountaineer Park also topped the list for increases in attendance, with a 186 percent jump. Other tracks with attendance increases included Canterbury Park (163 percent); Maryland Jockey Club (95 percent); Hoosier Park (84 percent); Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino (70 percent) and Calder Racecourse (60 percent).

The inaugural Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotion, held in August of last year, carried total prizes of $3.7 million and had a ticket redemption rate of 7.7 percent. No one has yet cashed a grand prize voucher.

"We're going to continue to raise the grand prize until one lucky fan redeems the winning voucher," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA senior vice president-industry relations and marketing. "We're encouraged by the fact that participation and redemption rates grew from the inaugural Mystery Mutuel Voucher in 2000. We're also delighted to outline our 2002-2003 promotional schedule so that our members can plan now to participate."

The Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotion features model lists for tracks to augment their mailings, provided at no cost by the NTRA, and volume-generated discounts on printing and mailing by Presort Services, the NTRA's official supplier for integrated marketing services, which offers customized post-event analysis for each site. Participating sites receive credit toward the NTRA co-op advertising program as well. NTRA member racetracks and OTBs wishing to participate in the Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotion can contact Jamie Haydon at (859) 422-2649 or via e-mail at

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing awareness of Thoroughbred racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders' Cup Limited also conduct the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, and the Breeders' Cup National Stakes Program, both of which are funded by the industry's owners and breeders. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. A compendium of NTRA press releases appears on the NTRA Web site,, and at the Web site for the Breeders' Cup Championship, Contact the NTRA at



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