Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Aqueduct Racetrack Receives Accreditation by NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance Inspection Team

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Aqueduct Racetrack has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations. Belmont Park received accreditation in May and Saratoga Race Course received accreditation in August.

Friday, December 18, 2009

NYRA President and CEO, Charles Hayward, honored at GYO Holiday Party


Charles E. Hayward, NYRA President and CEO, was honored at the Gateway Youth Outreach Annual Holiday Party on December 16th. Over 400 children attended the festive party and NYRA received a special Thank You from GYO for the financial support that we provided to them during this difficult economic year. NYRA was also acknowledged by GYO for our work in establishing the after school program at Belmont Park with Kiaran McLaughlin Racing which has received regional attention. Dave Smukler, NYRA Senior Vice President, and I were invited to join in the presentation to Charles Hayward.

It's Post Time at Albany International Airport!



Last week, NYRA's bugler, Sam Grossman, played the Call to the Post at Albany International Airport as many local officials turned out for the ribbon-cutting of SILKS Saratoga Bistro. Busy travelers viewed the video screens for the scratches (flight cancellations) and enjoyed delicious meals in the ambiance of the Race Course Clubhouse. In attendance from left to right: David E. Langdon, Chairman, Albany County Airport Authority; Paula Mahan, Supervisor, Town of Colonie; Micheal Jones, HMS Host; Charles Houghtaling, Chairman, Albany County Legislature; Michael Breslin, Albany County Executive; Robert Scholz, Office of Congressman Scott Murphy; Charles Wheeler, NYRA; Dennis Fitzgerald, Board Member, Albany County Airport Authority; John A. O'Donnell, CEO, Albany County Airport Authority, and Richard Kinley, HMS Host.

Monday, December 14, 2009

NYRA’s 2009 Charitable Contributions Benefit Local Community Groups and Service Organizations




Industry Organizations

Backstretch Employee Services Team
Belmont Child Care Association
Columbia Greene Humane Society
Equine Industry Career and College Fair
Exceller Fund
Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation
Jockey Club Foundation
New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association
Old Friends, Lexington, KY
Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program
Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund
Race for Education
Race Track Chaplaincy of America
Race Track Chaplaincy of New York
Racing Medication and Testing Consortium
Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory
Suffolk OTB
Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

Aqueduct Race Track and Belmont Park

Autism United

106th Precinct Community Council

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center

Ozone Howard Little League

St. Mary’s Foundation for Children

Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith Basketball Tournament

Abbey Lane Elementary School, Levittown

Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Phoenixville, PA

Anthony T. Dwyer Memorial Foundation, Elmont

American Cancer Society, Syosset

American Cancer Society Relay for Life

American Lung Association, NYC

Assemblyman Tom Alfano’s 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament

Association for Hunterdon Development Center, Inc.

Auction Wishes, Toronto, Canada

BCCA

Bob Flynn – Preakness Day Fundraiser

Brain Injury Association of NYS

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Casting for Recovery Long Island Chapter

Central/Memorial PTSA, Valley Stream

Chaminade High School, Mineola*

Chicago Children’s Charities

Child Abuse Prevention Services, Garden City

Child Care Council of Nassau Inc., Franklin Square

Church of St. Christopher, Baldwin

Association for Children with Down Syndrome, Plainview

Columbiettes of Memorare Council

CYO-Nassau and Suffolk, Hicksville

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Melville

East Rockaway High School

Elmont Chamber of Commerce

Elmont Fire Department

Elmont Senior Center, Elmont

Eve Fenton Love All Foundation, Inc., NYC

Richard Ferrette Trust, Island Park

Floral Park Chamber of Commerce

Floral Park Fire Dept.

Floral Park Lions Club

Friends of the Queens Library, Woodhaven

Garden City Chamber of Commerce

Garden City PBA

Garden City P.T.A., Garden City

Gateway Youth Outreach, Elmont

Girl Scouts of Suffolk County

Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul, Hempstead

Green Chimneys, Brewster

Harvest Houses Residence for Well-Elders, Syosset

Hempstead Boys & Girls Club

Hilsdorf Fund, Bayside

The INN, Hempstead

Institute for Student Achievement, NYC

Little Gospel Lights Preschool, Bethpage

Kellenberg Memorial High School, Uniondale

Kidney & Urology Foundation of America, NYC

Knights of Columbus, Valley Stream

Long Island Toy Lending Center, Point Lookout

Love and Hope International, Coram

Lutheran Counseling Center, Mineola

Martin Luther High School, Maspeth

Matthew Ryan Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Mauer Foundation, Mineola

McGuire Air Force Base, NJ

Mental Health Association of Nassau County

Multiple Sclerosis Society, NYC

Muscular Dystrophy Association, NYC

Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce

Neurological Institute of Long Island

New York Families for Autistic Children, Howard Beach

New York State Recreation and Park Society, Inc.

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, Roslyn Heights

Notre Dame P.A.V.E., New Hyde Park

NYC Firefighters

Olde Suffolk Pony Club

Otsego PTA, Dix Hills

Pal-O-Mine Equestrians

Paul J. Bellow Elementary School, West Islip

Positively PINK Packages

Queens Theatre in the Park, Flushing Meadow

Rainforest Alliance, NYC

Saint Athanasius, Brooklyn

Saint Joseph School, New Jersey

Saint Joseph High School, Metuchen, New Jersey

Saint Mark School, Brooklyn

Sarah Anderson School – P.S. 9

Saw Mill Road School, North Bellmore

Science Museum of Long Island

Seaford Harbor PTA, Seaford

Smithtown Historical Scoiety

Suffolk OTB

Temple Avodah, Oceanside

Thomas Hartman Parkinson’s Foundation, East Islip

St. Joseph’s School, Garden City

U.S. Open Golf Championship 2009

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

Wakefield School, The Plains, Virginia

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, West Hills

West End School, Lynbrook

West Hempstead Elementary PTA, West Hempstead

West Side YMCA Co-op Nursery School, NYC

Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola

Dr. Z/Nothing is Impossible Foundation, Rockaway

Elmont Little League

Valley Stream Little League

Garden City Little League

Floral Park Little League

Anthony T. Dwyer Memorial Foundation

American Diabetes Association

Assembly Tom Alfano’s 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament

Bellerose Terrace Ladies Auxiliary

Boom Boom Classic

Cheryl Relyea Memorial Cancer Foundation

Ditmas Educational Programs

Franklin Square Fire Department

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation WALK, Howard Beach

Kidney & Urology Foundation

Martin Avenue Elementary School, Bellmore

Queens Children’s Day Parade

St. Bonifice Church, Elmont

St. John’s University

St. Joseph’s Sisters

St. Kevin’s School, Flushing

UPS United Way

Saratoga Race Course

Adirondack Mountain Club, Lake George

Adirondack School of Northeastern New York, Greenwich

The Albany Academies

Albany Medical Center – Chris DiNapoli Parkinson’s Research Endowment Fund

American Cancer Society

American Red Cross – Saratoga Chapter

Arthritis Foundation, Albany

A Miracle for Annie

Addictions Care Center

Bethlehem Children’s School, Slingerlands

Brookside Museum, Ballston Spa

Capital District YMCA, Albany

Capital District Spinal Cord Society, Albany

Center for Donation and Transplant, Albany

Center for Early Learning, Glens Falls

Coach Bob Smith Social, Troy

Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes

Colonie Senior Service Centers, Inc., Albany

Columbia-Greene Humane Society

Daniel Canary Cancer Benefit, Saratoga

ESSAE

Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program

Foothills Theatre Company, Worcester, MA

Fulton-Montgomery Community College

Hyde Collection, Glens Falls

Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, Albany

Kids Wish Network, Florida

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Albany

Little Red Schoolhouse, Clifton Park

Living Resources Foundation, Albany

Make A Wish – Northeast New York Chapter, Cohoes

Maryland Horse Industry Foundation

Medical Missions for Children

Mental Health Foundation

Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ballston Spa

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Saratoga

National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, Saratoga

New York Oncology Hematology

Newmeadow School

NFL Alumni Upstate New York Chapter

Northeastern Association of the Blind, Albany

Northeast Parent and Child Society

Parsons Child and Family Center, Albany

Peaceful Acres

Police Benevolent Association-NYS Troopers

Romancing the Grape

Rotary Club, Saratoga Springs

Rotary International, Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Academy of Arts and Sciences

Saratoga Automobile Museum

Saratoga Bridges

Saratoga Center for the Family

Saratoga Children’s Museum

Saratoga County Citizens Committee for Mental Health

Saratoga County EOC

Saratoga Prevention Council

Saratoga Spinal Cord Society

Saratoga Springs History Museum

Saratoga Hospital Foundation

Saratoga Preservation Foundation

Saratoga Wine and Food Festival

Schoharie County ARC, Schoharie

Shelters of Saratoga

Skidmore College Palamountain Scholarship

Slingerlands Elementary PTA

Saratoga Offers Relief & Aid (SOAR)

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

Visiting Nurses Foundation, Albany

Wilton Youth Baseball

WMHT Auctions, Troy

Loudonville Christian School

New York State Council on Leadership and Student Activities

Saratoga BOCES

Special Olympics New York

Annual WALKS

American Heart Association Walk – Saratoga

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Walk – Saratoga

Saratoga Hospital Run - Saratoga

Mercy Walk – Saratoga

New York Breeders Sales – Horse Auction - Saratoga

St. Mary’s Hospital for Children – Belmont Park

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hal Handel, NYRA's Exec. V.P. and COO, Speaks at Mercer County Sports and Entertainment Commission's Holiday Derby Luncheon

Hal Handel, NYRA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, was the guest speaker at the Mercer County Sports and Entertainment Commission's Holiday Derby Luncheon on December 8th at the Mercer Oaks Clubhouse in West Windsor, New Jersey. Hal's experience in thoroughbred racing spans over 23 years operating race tracks in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York including Monmouth Park, the Meadowlands, Philadelphia Park, Aqueduct Race Track, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. He is the past President of Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America and former Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission. Hal was pleased to speak at this sold out event and '"wowed" the crowd! He spoke about the history of thoroughbred racing with emphasis on Belmont Park. In addition, he showed footage of Triple Crown races which received cheers from the audience!

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center honors NYRA



Charles Hayward, NYRA President and CEO, Dave Smukler, NYRA Senior Vice President, and I recently visited Jamaica Hospital Medical Center ("JHMC") for a plaque unveiling ceremony acknowledging NYRA's financial support. Dr. Geoffery Doughlin, JHMC Chairman of Emergency Medicine and Ole Pedersen, JHMC Vice President of Emergency Medicine and Public Affairs welcomed us and gave us a tour of the Emergency Department. NYRA is proud to partner with JHMC and their outstanding staff.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

NYRA and NYTHA Match Funds for Annual Toys for Tots Campaign at Aqueduct






NYRA President and CEO, Charles Hayward, was proud to welcome back Major Chuck Kilbride and the United States Marines as they returned to Aqueduct for their Annual Toys for Tots campaign. Mr. Hayward announced that NYRA would match all financial donations made by our owners and trainers to the United States Marines Toys for Tots drive this weekend. In the same spirit of giving, Jim Gallager, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, was pleased to announce that NYTHA would match NYRA's contribution!


With New York's leading trainer, Gary Contessa, donating 10 percent of whatever purse money his horses earn today for a minimum of $1500, as well as owner Harold Lerner's contribution of $5000, NYRA and NYTHA have each pledged at least $6500 to the Toys for Tots program which collects and distributes new, unwrapped toys for children in need during the holiday season. "Collecting for Toys for Tots has long been a holiday tradition at Aqueduct and we believe the Foundation's work is especially important during these uncertain economic times and we want to do everything we can to help provide toys to local children during the holidays. " said NYRA President and CEO, Charles E. Hayward.

NYRA Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Benefits Jamaica Hospital Medical Center



Charles E. Hayward, NYRA President and CEO, was proud to donate the proceeds of the Annual Stocking Stuffer Giveaway to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center ("JHMC".) NYRA contributed additional funds and we would like to thank all of our fans for their contributions! Roberta Goro, JHMC Director of Development, joined us for an afternoon of great racing at Aqueduct and she accepted the check on behalf of the hospital. I was pleased to join Mr. Hayward and Ms. Goro for the presentation. NYRA is pleased to partner with JHMC and recognizes their commitment to emergency care medicine.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NYRA, NYTHA and BST Contribute Funds for Thanksgiving

The New York Racing Association, Inc. ("NYRA") and The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association ("NYTHA") have each contributed funds to the Race Track Chaplaincy of New York for their Thanksgiving Boxes of Love Program. Volunteers will fill boxes with turkeys and trimmings for 200 backstretch families who live in the local community near Belmont Park. The boxes will be distributed at Belmont Park, Gate 6, on November 23rd.
In addition, the firm of Bollam, Sheedy, Torani & Co. ("BST") will once again underwrite a special Thanksgiving meal on November 24th for the grooms, hotwalkers, and exercise riders who work at Aqueduct and Belmont Park. This will mark the third year that the Albany-based firm has sponsored the feast for the Backstretch Employees Service Team ("B.E.S.T.") Meals will be coordinated under the supervision of Dennis Zoitos who runs the concesssions on the backstretch for NYRA. The meals will be served in the cafeterias at both racetracks.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Belmont Child Care Association to host Annual Anna House Holiday Shopping Event


The Belmont Child Care Association ("BCCA") will host the Annual Anna House Holiday Event on December 12th. You can help make the holidays special for over 400 children of the backstretch workers by donating a gift or volunteering your time. Children select presents for their family members and one for themselves. You may contact BCCA at Belmont Park-Gate 6, 2150 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont, NY 11003 or e-mail belmontchildcare@aol.com or call (516) 488-2103.

Spirit of Giving Weekend Planned at Aqueduct Race Track

Aqueduct will host the Spirit of Giving Weekend on December 5th and 6th. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center will be the beneficiary of NYRA's Annual Stocking Stuffer Giveaway! Major Chuck Kilbride and the U.S. Marines will join us on both days for the Annual Toys for Tots Campaign. All cash contributions will be collected by the U.S. Marines and checks may be made payable to Toys for Tots. In addition, this year NYRA is proud to support the St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children's Home for the Holidays Food Drive. Non-perishable packaged food is requested. St. Mary's cares for over 4000 children and their families. Collection boxes for Toys for Tots and St. Mary's will be located at the main Clubhouse entrance as well as the Turf and Field entrance. You may contact me for additional information.

Calling all Turkeys to Belmont Park-Gate 6 for the Race Track Chaplaincy of New York Annual Thanksgiving Outreach


The Race Track Chaplaincy of New York will host the Annual Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway on November 23rd from 10am-1pm and they will serve Thanksgiving lunch to all the backstretch families on November 24th from 10am-1pm in the Belmont and Aqueduct backstretch kitchens. You can make a contribution or volunteer to help by contacting them at: 2150 Hempstead Tpke, Gate 6-Belmont Park, Elmont, NY 11030 or www.rtcany.org
or call (516) 488-6000 (x4063.)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NYRA Rewards Members Enjoy Breeders' Cup Party and Exciting Live Racing at Aqueduct


NYRA Rewards players enjoyed an exciting afternoon at Aqueduct Race Track. Those members who attended the Breeders' Cup party, dined on sumptuous food in the beautifully decorated Manhattan Terrace. They enjoyed beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline, cigar rolling and simulcast of the Breeders' Cup races. The live races at the Big A showcased three stakes races for two and three year olds: The Nashua, The Red Smith and The Tempted.

NYRA Rewards offers opportunites to earn cash rewards just by wagering on NYRA or simulcast races. You can sign-up for an account at http://www.nyra.com.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Second Annual Elmont Clean-Up Day


NYRA played a vital role in the second annual Elmont Clean-Up day. NYRA staff were joined by community participants and local officials on this occasion to acknowledge the work of the Elmont Coalition for Sustainable Development and the implementation of their vision plan. Over 100 volunteers turned out to clean the sidewalks along Hempstead Turnpike in an effort to beautify that portion of the community which represents the gateway to the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County. NYRA offered its Marquee tent during the off-season and provided transportation for all participants. And, NYRA's graphics team created the posters and banners.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

“Kiaran’s Kids” Learning Straight from the Horse’s Mouth



From left to right, back row - Joanne Adams, NYRA, David Smukler, NYRA, Pat Boyle, Gateway Youth Outreach, Cate Masterson, McLaughlin Racing. Front Row - Madison Thomas, Gateway Youth Outreach, Jennila Pierre-Louis, Gateway Youth Outreach, Mike Louissant, Gateway Youth Outreach, Jamelia Jones, Gateway Youth Outreach, Kiaran McLaughlin, Artie Magnuson, McLaughlin Racing





For an hour or so on Wednesday afternoons at Belmont Park, Kiaran McLaughlin’s barn becomes something more than a stable of world-class thoroughbreds – it becomes a classroom.


On that day, McLaughlin hosts a small group of sixth-graders as part of an after-school program with Gateway Youth Outreach, which supports the youth of Belmont Park’s neighbor, Elmont, with a number of programs and services.


“They’ve been here three times, and they’ve gotten to see a lot in that time,” said McLaughlin. The trainer and The New York Racing Association, Inc. were presented with citations from Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray for their efforts in arranging the weekly educational sessions.


So far, said McLaughlin, the students have learned about the different jobs in the barn, watched a blacksmith at work, and gotten to use a hoof pick on a stable pony. This past Wednesday, they had an opportunity to go to the races and got their photo taken after a race with another trainer, David Donk, who invited the group into the winner’s circle.



“It’s a lot of absorb in a short period of time, but they all seem interested,” said McLaughlin. “It’s something different for them to learn, and more importantly, they get to come inside the gates and see Belmont Park, which is so close to where they live.”


McLaughlin said he hopes the pilot program will expand in the spring to include more students.


“This is a great thing Kiaran and NYRA are doing for the community,” said Ed Ambrosino, councilman with the Town of Hempstead, when the pilot program was first developed. “We are appreciative that they are able and willing to take the time to reach out to the children of the community.”


Gateway Youth Outreach serves the children of Elmont and nearby communities with counseling, education and recreation. Its after-school program is one of many that promote a safe environment for children to develop their talents in healthy, productive ways.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board Visits The Track



The Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board was created in 2008 by the New York State Legislature upon granting The New York Racing Association, Inc. a new 25 year franchise to operate thoroughbred racing at Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Race Track. The Advisory Board acts as a liaison between NYRA, the local community and the NYS Legislature to work to preserve the historic nature of Saratoga Race Course and perpetuate throughbred racing in Saratoga in the future.

Chairman Joe Torani recently toured the track with the following members of the Board: Tom Roohan, Lauren Roberts, John Carusone, Cindy Hollowood, Charles Wheeler, Bill Willmot and Secretary Skip Carlson. Other members of the Board include: Vice Chariman Matthew Veitch, Michelle Funicello, Arthur Johnson, Patrick Kehoe, Jason Kemper, David Wickerham and me.

NYRA Races to Support Local Charities at Saratoga Race Course

NYRA's Saratoga Race Course was the scene of racing of a different kind during our off-season this fall. During the month of October, we were pleased to host Saratoga Hospital's Annual Run on October 4th and the American Heart Association's Annual North Country Heart Walk on October 24th with over 600 partcipants who were undeterred by torrential rain! In September, we hosted the American Society for Suicide Prevention's Annual Walk for Rita.

Friday, October 23, 2009

NYRA supports the Elmont Business Improvement District


NYRA President and CEO, Charles Hayward presented a check for $20,000 to the Elmont Chamber of Commerce on October 23rd at Belmont Park. These funds are dedicated toward the creation of the Elmont Business Improvement District. NYRA is proud to support the vision plan of the Elmont community and has taken the lead as a community partner and corporate citizen to assist them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

NYRA Teams Again with Community for Elmont Cleanup Day

Local community groups, backstretch workers, church organizations and employees of The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will team up again on Saturday, October 31, in the second Elmont Cleanup Day.

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, Town of Hempstead Councilman Ed Ambrosino, and Nassau County Legislator John Ciotti are among the government officials scheduled to launch the cleanup effort, set to begin at 9 a.m., rain or shine.

Last year, dozens of volunteers beautified the stretch of Hempstead Turnpike that runs east from the Cross Island Parkway past Meachem Avenue.

This year, Key Clubs from Elmont Memorial High School and Sewanhaka High School, the Elmont Fire Department, St. Boniface Church, St. Vincent DePaul Church, the American Legion and all the Civic Associations from Elmont, as well as NYRA and the Town of Hempstead, are among the community groups participating in the effort.

With Belmont Park’s Marquee Tent serving as operations base, NYRA is providing buses to transport the workers to six locations on both sides of the road as well as providing equipment and trash bags for the effort.

“NYRA is proud to partner with the Elmont community in implementing their vision plan,” said Joanne K. Adams, NYRA’s Community Relations Manager.

The Elmont Chamber of Commerce, the Elmont Coalition for Sustainable Development and the Elmont Community Council Coalition, Nassau County, the Town of Hempstead and NYRA are among the entities that have come together to make possible a vision for revitalizing Elmont, known as the Gateway to Nassau.

Friday, October 16, 2009

NYRA Supports Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce Annual Awards Breakfast

NYRA was a proud sponsor of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce 25th Annual Outstanding Small Business Person and Legislative Awards Breakfast which was sold out with over 650 people from the local business community. The participants were representatives of over 50 Chambers of Commerce in Nassau County. NYRA's Belmont Park was highlighted in a piece about key attractions in Nassau County.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Racing on Long Island - Horses to Horsepower

NYRA was invited to participate in the Long Island Library Resources Council's 14th annual conference on October 9th at the Hoffman Center in Muttontown. Dan Silver, NYRA's Director of Comunications and Media Relations, presented a chronological history of throughbred racing and showed videos of the Belmont Stakes/Triple Crown wins of Secretariat and Affirmed as well as the Triple Crown upset of Smarty Jones by Birdstone. NYRA was joined by representatives of the Vanderbilt Cup Races and the Long Island Motor Tracks. I was presented with a copy of a book entitled: "That Belmont Look: An exhibition celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Belmont Park" which was prepared by The New York Historical Society.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

NYRA donates to Exceller Fund and Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund on Jockey Club Gold Cup Day


Charles Hayward, President and CEO, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) is proud to present a check for $25,000 the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund in the amount of $25,000 following Saturday's first race.


To honor Exceller’s 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup victory, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) donated $5,000 following Saturday's second race to The Exceller Fund, a non-profit group which works to transition Thoroughbred horses to a second career off the track. The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) also made a donation in the amount of $5,000 to the fund. The Exceller Fund additionally acquires horses that might be at risk for slaughter and cares for them until an adoptive home is found.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Garden City Stakes Day

Mayor of Garden City, Robert Rothschild, presented the trophy for the Grade 1 Garden City Stakes on September 12th. Garden City businesses and residents participated in presenting trophies throughout the day representing the local theme.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

NYRA hosts The Breast Cancer Research Foundation on Alabama Day


Saratoga Race Course played host to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation ("BCRF") on Saturday, August 22nd - Alabama Day. NYRA President and CEO, Charles Hayward presented a check for $10,000 to Myra Biblowit, BCRF President. The BCRF was founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder as an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to funding innovative research. 85 cents on each dollar donated to the BCRF goes directly to breast cancer research and awareness programs. NYRA dedicated the 8th race to the BCRF and all of the horses wore pink saddletowels and the grooms wore pink jackets embossed with the BCRF logo.
Mayor of Saratoga, Scott Johnson, presented a proclamation from the City of Saratoga to NYRA and the BCRF acknowledging NYRA's support in assisting the BCRF in their efforts to fund research and awareness programs.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Saratoga Race Course Receives NTRA Accreditation


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. Saratoga is the eighth racing facility to be so designated by the Alliance. Churchill Downs and Keeneland were accredited in April; Belmont Park received accreditation in May; Delaware Park and Hollywood Park were accredited in June; Monmouth Park was accredited in July; and Arlington Park received accreditation earlier this month. Pimlico Race Course was granted provisional accreditation in May.
The accreditation of Saratoga was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track’s completion of a 48-page written application and continued as Saratoga hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, regulators and fans. The inspection team was comprised of Ronald Jensen, DVM; racing industry executive Dan Fick and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. Observing the inspection was the Alliance’s independent monitor, former Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson.
“Saratoga was reviewed on August 5-7 during its current meeting,” said Ziegler. “It exceeded prescribed benchmarks on many fronts, with industry-wide best practices established in the areas of security planning, aftercare and transitioning of retired racehorses and the recording of post-race jockey weights.”
“We are proud to know that Saratoga Race Course, like Belmont Park, meets and often exceeds the exacting standards called for by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance,” said Charles Hayward, President and CEO of the New York Racing Association. “Our next goal is to achieve a similar finding when Aqueduct Racetrack is inspected later in the year.”
The Alliance, formed last October with the goal of establishing national uniform standards in the areas of safety and integrity, includes 55 racetracks in North America and every major national horsemen’s organization. Alliance certification standards cover five broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; uniform medication, testing and penalties; and safety research. Within those five categories, specific standards focus on areas including:
Systematic reporting of equine injuries
Aftercare of racehorses
Pre- and post-race veterinary examinations
Post-mortem examinations
Health and safety of jockeys
Riding crops and their use
Horse shoes and hoof care
Safety research
Safety equipment for jockeys and horse handlers
Exogenous Anabolic Steroids
Alkalinizing agents (TCO2)
On-track emergency medical care for humans and equines
Out-of-competition testing
Freezing and retrospective testing of post race samples
Continuing education
Security assessment and training
The accreditation program initially will focus on human and equine safety, but will be expanded to cover additional areas, including wagering security.
Calder Race Course and Del Mar are among the next racetracks that will undergo Alliance review.
The NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance is a standing organization whose purpose is to establish standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at www.NTRAalliance.com.
The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, former four-term Governor of Wisconsin and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, serves as independent counsel of the Alliance and will provide public reports on Alliance progress in instituting safety and integrity standards.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

NYRA and Other Industry Groups Jointly Pledge More Than $100,000 in Financial Support to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation



Hal Handel, NYRA Executive Vice President and COO, presented a check for $50,000 to Diana Pikulski, Executive Director of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation ("TRF") in the winner's circle at Saratoga Race Course. Joining Mr. Handel are representatives from The Jockey Club, The Jockey Guild and the New York Thorughbred Horsemen's Association. These industry organizations have jointly pledged more that $100,000 in financial support to the TRF.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing at Saratoga Race Course

As part of the Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing, NYRA President and CEO, Charles Hayward presented a check for $5000 in the name of the top three scoring jockeys of the Jockey and Trainer Charity Contest: Alan Garcia, Cornelio Velasquez and John Velasquez.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Floral Park Community Day




NYRA was proud to host over 350 people from the Village of Floral Park for their Community Day at Belmont Park on Sunday, June 21st. The Village of Floral Park, the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce and several local community service organizations worked with NYRA to organize a wonderful afternoon for families on Father's Day! Children played outside the Marquee tent and local restaurants provided the fare for the afternoon inside. The hat contest featured some very interesting creations and the poster contest showcased the local talent of elementary school students.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

NYRA acknowledges the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund on Belmont Stakes Day


NYRA President and CEO, Charles Hayward was proud to present a check for $5000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund whose mission is to assist jockeys who are permanently disabled from an on-track accident and to build awareness for their needs. All of the jockeys riding on Belmont Stakes Day joined in the presentation along with Ron Turcotte and Andrew Lakeman.

Gateway Youth Outreach of Elmont receives funding from NYRA


Charles Hayward, President and CEO of the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) presented a check for $25,000 to Gateway Youth Outreach of Elmont after the fourth race on Belmont Stakes Day, Saturday, June 6. Accepting the check is Pat Boyle, Executive Director of Gateway Youth Outreach of Elmont.

Gateway Youth Outreach serves the children of Elmont and nearby communities with counseling, education and recreation. This after school program is one of many that promote a safe environment for children to develop their talents in healthy, productive ways.

Appearing in the photo from left to right:
Paul Sapienza of the Elmont Chamber of Commerce
Nassau County Legislator John Ciotti
Pat Nicolosi and Sandra Smith of the Elmont Coalition for Sustainable Development
Pat Boyle, Executive Director of Gateway Youth Outreach of Elmont
Councilman Ed Ambrosino
Joanne Adams, Community Relations Manager, NYRA
Charles Hayward, President and CEO, NYRA

Friday, June 5, 2009

Belmont Park Receives NTRA Accreditation



The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes, has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. The Elmont, N.Y., racetrack is the third racing facility to be so designated by the Alliance. Churchill Downs and Keeneland were accredited in April, while Pimlico Race Course received provisional accreditation earlier this month.The accreditation of Belmont was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track’s completion of a 48-page written application and continued as Belmont hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards and regulators. It was led by Ronald Jensen, DVM; racing official Richard Lewis; and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. "I am pleased to announce that Belmont Park, one of the nation’s most beautiful and historic racetracks, has been accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance," said Waldrop. "Belmont has displayed an uncompromising commitment to the safety of the human and equine athletes who compete on its grounds." "Our inspection team was very impressed by the facility when we reviewed it during the current spring meeting," said Ziegler. "Belmont, in fact, exceeded the Alliance’s Code of Standards in several areas, including pre-and post-race examinations, injury reporting, equine ambulances and security training." "The safety of our human and equine athletes is of paramount importance to all of us here at Belmont Park," said Charles Hayward, President and CEO of the New York Racing Association. "We are proud to know that Belmont meets, and in many cases exceeds, the high standards established by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, and we will strive for similar outcomes during Alliance inspections of Saratoga Race Course and Aqueduct Racetrack later in the year."The Alliance, formed last October with the goal of establishing national uniform standards in the areas of safety and integrity, includes 55 racetracks in North America and every major national horsemen’s organization. Alliance certification standards cover five broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; uniform medication, testing and penalties; and safety research. Within those five categories, specific standards focus on areas including:
Systematic reporting of equine injuries
Aftercare of racehorses
Pre- and post-race veterinary examinations
Post-mortem examinations
Health and safety of jockeys
Riding crops and their use
Horse shoes and hoof care
Safety research
Safety equipment for jockeys and horse handlers
Exogenous Anabolic Steroids
Alkalinizing agents (TCO2)
On-track emergency medical care for humans and equines
Out-of-competition testing
Freezing and retrospective testing of post race samples
Continuing education
Security assessment and training The accreditation program initially will focus on human and equine safety, but will be expanded to cover additional areas, including wagering security.Arlington Park, Calder Race Course, Emerald Downs and Monmouth Park are among the next racetracks that will undergo Alliance review. The NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance is a standing organization whose purpose is to establish standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at http://www.ntraalliance.com/.The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, former four-term Governor of Wisconsin and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, serves as independent counsel of the Alliance and will provide public reports on Alliance progress in instituting safety and integrity standards.

NYRA welcomes Pal-O-Mine Equestrians back to Belmont Park



Charles Hayward, NYRA President and CEO, presented a check to Lisa Gatti, Founder of Pal-O-Mine Equestrians and welcomed their group back to Belmont Park for their annual fundraiser in the Turf and Field Club. Pal-O-Mine Equestrians is a non-profit 501(c)(3) therapeutic horseback riding program dedicated to teaching horseback riding to individuals with disabilities.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Jockeys Ride Into The Hearts of Families at The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island



On Thursday, June 4th, seven world-class jockeys took a detour from the racetrack to visit families at The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island as a part of the annual Jockey Day event.

Just days before the running of the 141st Belmont Stakes, Amanda Casey, Alan Garcia, Paco Lopez, Edgar Prado, Rudy Rodriguez, Maylan Studart and John Velázquez showed up in their colorful silks, mingled and took photos with children at the House. The jockeys also came bearing gifts, hats and riding goggles, which were autographed for all in attendance.

“This is a very exciting event for our children and their families,” said Executive Director Joanne Reda. “Meeting the jockeys is always fun for everyone. We wish them good luck on Saturday and look forward to seeing them again next year.”

Garcia, Prado and Velazquez will be riding in the 1 ½ mile Belmont Stakes. Garcia will be aboard Charitable Man, second choice in the field of ten 3-year-old horses. Velazquez, who won the 2007 Belmont, will ride Dunkirk; while Prado, a two-time Belmont winner, will ride Mr. Hot Stuff.

The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island is a ‘home-away-from home’ for families who are caring for seriously ill children undergoing medical treatment in area hospitals. Located on the campus of Schneider Children’s Hospital, the House accommodates families in a warm and supportive environment. Since opening in 1986, approximately 13,000 families from the United States and more than 80 countries around the world have been served. Many of the families are from Queens, Suffolk and Nassau Counties, as well as the surrounding metropolitan area.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Elmont Community Day at Belmont Park



NYRA was proud to host over 400 people from the Elmont community on Sunday, May 31st for their second annual community day at Belmont Park. Bethpage Federal Credit Union sponsored admission and parking and NYRA offered a family fun-filled afternoon in the backyard.

The National Anthem was sung by William Rothwell, a local student.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Elmont 2009 Belmont Stakes Parade and Family Field Day

On May 30, 2009, the Elmont community officially kicked-off the 2009 Belmont Stakes celebration with a two-day weekend celebration. The Belmont Stakes parade participants included: the exciting Elmont Memorial High School Marching Band, Nassau County Police Pipes and Drums, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Elmont Soccer and Elmont Cardinals Football, NYRA starting gate and Sam the Buglar to name a few.

Following the parade, the community assembled for their family field day hosted by the Elmont Chamber of Commerce. Parade Grand Marshall, Ralph Esposito presented a key to Elmont to NYRA President and CEO, Charles Hayward. NYRA provided Belmont chairs for all of the participants.

The Elmont Library hosted a screening of The First Saturday in May in the afternoon and they created an exhibit of horse racing memorabilia and related books.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

6th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids and Family Fun Day


Get ready for a little fun in the sun!! Join friends, family, and supporters, at the 6th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids and Family Fun Day on Sunday, May 17th, 2009 at Belmont Park. Don’t miss out on this exciting day of family fun-filled activities such as backstretch tours of Belmont Park, pony rides, face painters, arts & crafts, inflatables, live entertainment, and much more.

Tell your friends, tell your colleagues, bring out the kids and help raise funds and awareness to benefit the vital programs and services serving the needs of nearly 4,000 children with special needs.

Click here for more information.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Belmont Park Opening Day


NYRA President and CEO, Charles Hayward welcomed Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, Town of Hempstead Councilman Ed Ambrosino, and Nassau County Legislator Vincent Muscarella for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Paddock to officially open the 2009 Belmont Park race meet.
They were joined by community leaders from Elmont, Floral Park and Garden City.

After-School Program to Launch at Belmont


ELMONT, N.Y. – Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray presents a citation to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and The New York Racing Association, Inc. for their support of Gateway Youth Outreach, a youth agency servicing the children of the communities surrounding Belmont Park. Looking on are Pat Boyle, executive director of Gateway Youth Outreach (far left), and Ed Ambrosino, councilman for the Town of Hempstead (far right).


There will be a few extra hands at trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s barn at Belmont Park this spring, but they won’t belong to either grooms or hotwalkers. Instead, McLaughlin will be hosting a group of elementary students in the afternoon in conjunction with Gateway Youth Outreach, which supports the youth of neighboring Elmont with a number of programs and services.

According to Pat Boyle, the executive director of the agency, four students will visit McLaughlin’s barn on a weekly basis during GYO’s after-school program. The students will have the opportunity to observe the inner workings of one of the country’s leading Thoroughbred stables at historic Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes.

“It’s a chance for the children to see a side of racing that few people get to see,” said McLaughlin. “They will be able to watch what goes on in the barn during the day, and get to meet a racehorse, as well.”

As Belmont Park opened for its 64-day Spring/Summer Meet, McLaughlin and The New York Racing Association, Inc., were presented with citations from Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray for their efforts in arranging the weekly educational sessions at Belmont Park.

“This is a great thing Kiaran and NYRA are doing for the community,” said Ed Ambrosino, councilman with the Town of Hempstead. “We are appreciative that they are able and willing to take the time to reach out to the children of the community.”

Gateway Youth Outreach serves the children of Elmont and nearby communities with counseling, education and recreation. Its after-school program is one of many that promote a safe environment for children to develop their talents in healthy, productive ways.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children


Charles Hayward, President and CEO, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) is pleased to announce that NYRA will be a sponsor of the St. Mary’s WALK for Kids at Belmont ParkSunday, May 17th.

Mr. Hayward is joined by Dr. Burton Grebin, President and CEO, St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, and the children of St. Mary’s.

For additional information: http://stmaryskids.kintera.org/walk09
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