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 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.