Wednesday, September 24, 2008Contact: Eric Wing
+1 (914) 434-3529
US launches grass roots racing lobby

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today an 11-member Advisory Panel that will serve on the Horseplayers’ Coalition, a consortium of horseplayers whose common objective is to seek legislative and regulatory solutions to tax and business issues that impact racing fans and pari-mutuel racetracks.

Chairing the Horseplayers’ Coalition is Mel Moser, a retired attorney from Kentucky. Other members of the Advisory Panel are:

Herman Bell, an IT professional from Maryland
Steve Byk, an entrepreneur, radio personality and horse owner from New York
Gupta Etwaru, an ophthalmological surgeon from California
Ron Geary, a racetrack and racehorse owner from Kentucky
Jim Goodman, a simulcasting and marketing manager from Kentucky
Bob Hansan, a software entrepreneur from Virginia
Louis Licata, an attorney from Ohio
Mike Maloney, a professional horseplayer from Kentucky
Mike Mayo, a healthcare entrepreneur from Texas
Judy Wagner, an insurance executive from Louisiana

Members of the Horseplayers’ Coalition Advisory Panel will serve for a minimum of two years, be available for grass roots lobbying in Washington, D.C., and help the Coalition identify, shape and prioritize issues that affect horseplayers at the Federal level.

“The Advisory Panel will play a critical role in our grass roots lobbying and Congressional communications,” said Peggy Hendershot, senior vice president of legislative affairs for the NTRA. “Collectively, our panel members will bring decades of knowledge and experience to bear on the issues that impact horseplayers. We look forward to working with them and appreciate their willingness to join in this effort on behalf of their fellow horseplayers.”

“For the first time, the Horseplayers’ Coalition gives players of every size and variety a voice and a seat at the table where the important issues that directly affect them are decided,” said Moser. “Starting with H.R. 6631, which eliminates one aspect of a fundamentally unfair tax structure that has existed for too long, I’m confident players will take advantage of this opportunity.”

The cost to join the Horseplayers’ Coalition is $25. Individuals may enroll online at They may also join by sending a check for $25, payable to NTRA, to Horseplayers’ Coalition, c/o NTRA, 2525 Harrodsburg Road, Suite 400, Lexington, Ky., 40504. Participants can track the progress of legislation online at, where they will also find legislative news, press releases and position papers on a variety of legislative issues. The Web site will also be the portal for Coalition members to send grass roots communications to members of Congress using stylized message points.

Horseplayers can also join the Coalition by participating in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship Tour (NHC Tour). A portion of each $125 NHC Tour registration fee will be earmarked for the Coalition, and supporters will also automatically receive access to NTRA Advantage, which provides preferred pricing on products and services from such NTRA Advantage Partners as John Deere, UPS, OfficeDepot, Sherwin-Williams, Toshiba and others.

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horse racing interests consisting of leading thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA web site,