Tom Rooney

NTRA's Tom Rooney Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Tom Rooney, the President and CEO of the NTRA, joined this week's TDN Writers' Room to discuss HISA, his family background and more on the future of horse racing.

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Purses Set Record In 2022 But Handle Drops Slightly

According to figures released Thursday by Equibase, a robust $1,309,837,841 in purse money was paid out during the year in the U.S., an increase of 10.92% and an all-time record for the sport. Total handle on U.S. racing in 2022 was $12,108,807,335, a decrease of 0.87% when compared to 2021 numbers. The total bet in 2021 was $12,215,598,838. "Thoroughbred racing purses and pari-mutuel handle continued to exhibit strength in 2022," NTRA President and CEO Tom Rooney said in a statement. "Purses were up double-digits year-over year and reached an all-time...

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Bill That Includes New Language on HISA Passes in House

A $1.7-trillion omnibus spending bill that includes language that would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) more authority over the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) passed in the House of Representatives Friday. Friday's development came one day after the bill passed in the Senate. The bill will next go to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. The language in the bill relating to HISA is meant to address issues raised by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in November. That court ruled that HISA was unconstitutional...

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John Deere, Keeneland, Jockey Club, Are Eclipse Presenting Sponsors

John Deere, Keeneland, and The Jockey Club will be presenting sponsors of the 52nd Annual Eclipse Awards, honoring Thoroughbred racing's champions of 2022, to be held Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, at The Breakers Palm Beach, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Wednesday. "We are grateful to John Deere, Keeneland, and The Jockey Club for their partnership in serving as this year's presenting sponsors for the Eclipse Awards," said Tom Rooney, President and CEO of the NTRA. "We're very excited to welcome the Thoroughbred industry to The Breakers to celebrate the...

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NTRA Offers D.C. Internship Program

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is seeking current students or recent graduates for its internship program in Washington, D.C. The NTRA's new Washington office is located on Capitol Hill under the operation of former U.S. Congressman Tom Rooney, the President and CEO of the NTRA. "With the new Congress in January and everything in Washington reopening after COVID, we are very eager to welcome interns into our D.C. office," Rooney said. "The dynamic work environment of Capitol Hill is great for young people, and we hope to bring students with...

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Open Letter to the Industry: Entering the Final Turn

by Tom Rooney The Thoroughbred breeding and racing world is descending on central Kentucky this week. The excitement is palpable, Lexington is abuzz, and anticipation is building each day as we get closer to this weekend's Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland. And while this event will begin the wind down to the 2022 racing calendar, I am reflecting on my first year as President and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). While I've been a Thoroughbred enthusiast my entire life, this is the first year where I've...

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NHC To Remain at Horseshoe Las Vegas Through 2026

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Caesars Entertainment have announced an agreement which establishes Bally's--the soon-to-be renamed Horseshoe Las Vegas--as the host site of the National Horseplayers' Championship through 2026. This year's event will take place Mar. 10-12, 2023. "We are delighted to secure a multi-year extension and continue our partnership with two iconic brands--Caesars and Horseshoe Las Vegas--to host hundreds of horseplayers in the heart of the Las Vegas strip at the world's most prestigious horse racing handicapping contest," said NTRA President and CEO Tom Rooney. "We're pleased...

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NTRA Reports on Additional H-2B Visas

The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor will be issuing a regulation that will make an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas available to employers for fiscal year (FY) 2023, on top of the 66,000 H-2B visas that are normally available each fiscal year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association reported in a release Thursday. By making these supplemental visas available at the outset of the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2022, those in the horse industry, such as trainers, who rely heavily on the H-2B visa...

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NTRA Hires Director of Government Affairs

Edited Press Release The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Friday the hiring of Jordan Bonfitto to serve as NTRA's Director of Government Affairs. Bonfitto will be based in the NTRA's newly opened Washington, D.C. office and will lead the organization's advocacy efforts alongside President and CEO, former U.S. Congressman, Tom Rooney. "We're excited to have Jordan join our team to help advocate the issues critical to the Thoroughbred racing industry," Rooney said. "Jordan's experience in the Executive Branch and on Capitol Hill will be a huge asset as we...

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NTRA Opens Washington, D.C. Office

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has officially opened an office in Washington, D.C. NTRA president and CEO Tom Rooney, a former Congressman, has indicated the office will be fully staffed and open for visitors. "I've been hired and tasked to go to Washington and be the voice of the Thoroughbred racing industry to our nation's policy makers," said Rooney. "Having spent a decade in Congress, I know how Washington works. The biggest part of that is by showing up and being in person. By opening this office, we'll be...

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Message from the NTRA's Tom Rooney

Former U.S. congressman Tom Rooney is the new president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). He released a statement Wednesday, which appears below. For more insight into Rooney's plans and priorities for the NTRA, watch or listen to the final 2021 Writers' Room podcast (links appear at the bottom of the story). Following is Rooney's Wednesday statement in its entirety: Horse racing has been in my family since long before I was born, and I've grown up with a passion for the sport. When I retired from...

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Wagering On U.S. Racing Highest Since 2009

According to figures released Wednesday by Equibase, $12,218,407,637 was wagered on horse racing in the U.S. in 2021. The figure marks the first time betting has topped $12 billion since 2009 when $12.315 billion was bet. "Against an extraordinarily difficult backdrop, the resiliency of Thoroughbred racing was on full display in 2021, as we concluded the year with significant growth in purses and total handle of more than $12 billion, the highest since 2009," NTRA President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Rooney said in a statement. "We thank our customers...

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