Alfred G. Vanderbilt planted the seed to form a commission of racetracks in 1942.
The first conference
held in Chicago on March 19, 1942 attracted a who’s who of racing at the time, including The Jockey Club chairman William Woodward, prominent breeder A.B. Hancock, and track presidents Henry Parr III and Carleton F. Burke, among others. From that conference, the TRA grew. Now, the TRA is comprised of 42 members which conduct racing in the United States and Canada.
Throughout the years
the TRA has played a leading role in the establishment of many programs beneficial to the racing industry. In 1946, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, a subsidiary of the TRA, was formed to preserve integrity and security in racing, and today maintains the most extensive, private collection of records on individuals and horses as well as tattoo information. TRPB represents a unified effort by TRA-member associations to maintain high standards, protect the legitimate business interests and integrity of the sport, and foster and maintain public confidence.
In 1972, the TRA, in conjunction with the Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers Association, established the Eclipse Awards to recognize racing’s national champions.
In 1990, subsidiaries of the TRA and The Jockey Club formed Equibase in a partnership to accumulate the racing data necessary for the unfettered growth of simulcast wagering. Prior to that time, the Daily Racing Form had been the sole collector of chart data and the dissemination of past performance information.
The TRA’s 1995 Committee, named after its target date, demonstrated the benefit and feasibility of merging pools nationally with the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Pick 7 in 1991 as fax machines were utilized to create a common pool.
The 1995 Committee was renamed the TRA 2050 Committee as it continues to deal with evolving technology.
TRA represents its members’ collective positions as a trade association in the area of federal legislation by sponsoring and performing related activities and maintaining liaison with other organizations and associations.
The role of TRA includes serving as a strong and unified voice of Thoroughbred racetrack operators and helping its members capitalize on new technologies and media.
TRA is proactive in promoting the integrity of the sport by educating the general public and key stakeholders on the industry.
TRA continues to create various programs, activities, ventures, and enterprises related to Thoroughbred racing that positively impact the members of the association.
The four-year scholarship, co-sponsored by Vanderbilt University and TRA, honors Vanderbilt alumni Grantland Rice and Fred Russell, two of the greatest sports writers of all time.