Monday, August 30, 2010

NYRA And NYTHA Salute Backstretch Volunteer Appreciation Day

The New York Racing Association and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association are proud to honor the 2010 Backstretch Volunteers! Over 125 volunteers dedicate hours of their time to ensure that the health, social and spiritual needs of the backstretch workers are met during the Saratoga meet. NYRA and NYTHA recognized the volunteers from the Backstretch Employee Services Team ("B.E.S.T."), The Racetrack Chaplaincy, the Saratoga Equal Opportunity Council, and thanked them for their service.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Columbia Greene Humane Society Recognizes Greene County District Attorney At Saratoga Race Course

The Columbia-Greene Humane Society used the Community Outreach Booth at Saratoga Race Course to provide the public with information about their organization and they presented a plaque in the Winner's Circle to Greene County District Attorney, Terry Wilhem, for his professinal excellence in the diligent and successful prosecution and conviction of the Center Brook Farm Equine Cruelty Case.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

NYRA Welcomes St. Mary's Hospital Foundation As Saratoga Springs Proclaims HEAD SMART DAY

August 25th was St. Mary's Head Smart Day in Saratoga and NYRA welcomed our downstate partner to Saratoga Race Course. Mayor Scott Johnson teamed up with NYRA and St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children in a Brain Injury Awareness and Prevention Campaign to keep Saratoga's Kids Safe and proclaimed HEAD SMART DAY in Saratoga Springs.
St. Mary's used the NYRA Community OUtreach Booth to provide information dedicated to educating children, parents, coaches and educators on how to keep their heads safe. ALL of the NYRA jockeys lended their support to the day as well.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fabulous Fillies Day kicks off BetFair TVG Alabama Weekend at Saratoga Race Course

NYRA was delighted to dedicate a day to honor women and the glamour they bring to historic Saratoga Race Course. We were thrilled to recognize an extraordinary woman in the sport of Thoroughbred racing, 2009 Saratoga leading trainer, Linda Rice and we were proud to partner with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation ("BCRF") in an effort to raise funds for breast cancer research. Suzie O'Cain's Find A Cure Stable was also recognized for its unique mission to donate 10 percent of all earnings to the BCRF.
Over $40,000 was raised for the BCRF on Fabulous Fillies Day!! NYRA donated $10,000 which was matched by our sponsor, BetFair TVG. The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association donated $5,000 and the jockeys donated a portion of their mount fees on the day.
The BCRF provided 25,000 pink braclets for our fans and the track was dressed in pink. Pink ribbons adorned the trees in the paddock, the NYRA flag was pink and all of the horses wore pink saddlecloths with the BCRF logo!
There was informal modeling throughout the day by luxury brand, St. John Boutique of Manhasset, NY. NYRA was delighted to personally welcome, Patricia Underwood, famous hat designer to Hollywood stars. Saratoga's very own, Saratoga Trunk, provided models as well.
A silent auction in the luxury cabana helped to raise additional funds and Claire Buffie, MISS NEW YORK, collected donations in the backyard for the BCRF.
Local radio station B95.5 organized a Women's Expo in the backyard and ESPN commentator, Jeannine Edwards, lended her support throughout the day. The Grey Goose Pink Ribbon was the signature drink of the day and our lemonade vendor served pink lemonade. A portion of the proceeds of these beverages were donated to the BCRF. And, Bettie's Cakes, donated a portion of the proceeds from their pink cupcakes to the BCRF.
Hats off to NYRA Vice President and Director of Racing, PJ Campo for carding ALL filly races on the day! Scott Johnson, Mayor of Saratoga Springs, provided NYRA and the BCRF with a proclamation which truly made it a Fabulous Fillies Day!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NYRA Celebrates The West Point Stakes at Historic Saratoga Race Course

In honor of the West Point Stakes, NYRA was proud to welcome the cadets from the Glee Club of the United Military Academy at West Point to Saratoga Race Course. The cadets sang the National Anthem early in the day and later sang the West Point Alma Mater before the stakes race.
In addition, NYRA welcomed the Friends of Ulysses S. Grant Cottage on the day. The local museum is a state historic site. President Grant graduated from the USMA at West Point and spent the last six weeks of his life writing his memoires at Grant Cottage. The local volunteers collected donations in NYRA's Community Outreach Booth and distributed information about the museum.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

NYRA Hosts Thoroughbred Retirement Day at Saratoga Race Course

In honor of Thoroughbred Retirement Day, NYRA Chief Operating Officer, Harold G. Handel, presented checks for $5000 to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Old Friends and the Exceller Fund for their efforts in raising awareness about horse rescue and retirement.

NYRA was also pleased to welcome ReRun, Peaceful Acres and Pure Thoughts who joined us outside the Jockey Silks room where they provided informational materials about their programs and collected donations.

Earlier in the day, ESPN commentator, Jeannine Edwards, and her horse, Ashkal Way, provided a dressage presentation for our fans. Ashkal Way, formerly owned by Godolfin, began his career in Ireland. He won 7 of his 8 starts in the United States, 5 of which were at New York tracks. His earnings reach almost $800,000 before he was retired following an injury in 2007.

Jeannine Edwards took him into her care and began dressage training. Dressage is commonly referred to as horse ballet. Its goals are the "harmonius development of the physical ability of the horse, resulting in a calm, supple, and confidant animal who is in perfect understanding of his rider."

Ashkal Way is currently showing at First Level competitions and he has received a Blue Ribbon in 3 of his 4 events. According to Edwards, "Ashkal Way is proof positive that retired Thoroughbreds can and do excel at second careers."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saratoga Race Course Celebrates Fabulous Fillies Day

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) will celebrate women and the glamour they bring to Saratoga Race Course with a special day appropriately titled “Fabulous Fillies Day” on Friday, August 20.

The day will feature a number of special events and activities designed to honor women of the thoroughbred industry while raising funds to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).

The first 25,000 fans through the admission gates will each receive a pink breast cancer support bracelet, courtesy of BCRF.

“Women are a central part of the summer racing season at Saratoga Race Course. We invite ladies to join us for a stylish and fun day at the track on Fabulous Fillies Day,” said NYRA Director of Community Relations Joanne K. Adams. “We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of several extraordinary women while raising awareness and funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.”

The femme-friendly day will begin when breast cancer survivors and supporters are invited to gather in the Paddock for a Pink Parade. The parade, which honors the courage and perseverance of breast cancer survivors, will begin at 11 a.m.

Later that afternoon, representatives from Betfair TVG, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA), and NYRA will present BCRF with a combined donation of $25,000 to support the organization’s efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.

The day will also honor two of Saratoga’s leading ladies: Linda Rice and Suzie O’Cain. Rice catapulted to national recognition after winning the 2009 training title at Saratoga Race Course, making her the first woman to win the title at a major race meet. As a tribute to her accomplishments, Rice will be presented with a special commemorative plate following the day’s first race, which will be named in her honor.

The Find a Cure Stable, founded by O’Cain, will be recognized for its unique mission, through which the stable donates 10 percent of all winnings to BCRF. The stable’s jockey silks reflect its mission with a white shirt and pink sleeves, emblazoned with the iconic Breast Cancer ribbon logo. The stable will sell hats and t-shirts to benefit BCRF from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in front of the Jockey Silks Room.

NYRA Vice President of Racing PJ Campo will card several filly and mare overnight races in concert with the day’s theme. In each of the day’s corresponding races, the horses will wear pink saddle towels and grooms will be outfitted in pink jackets. Participating horsemen and jockeys have pledged to donate a portion of their purse earnings from the day to support BCRF.

Saratoga Race Course will also feature a special pink NYRA flag in flight overhead. Pink bunting, ribbons and flowers will adorn the track, including a pink flower blanket on the horse statue in the Paddock.

Beginning at noon, track guests can bid on a number of luxury items at a silent auction. Auction items include a set of Judith Ripka cushion stone earrings adorned with a honey citrine stone and diamonds from Northeastern Fine Jewelry; two reserved seats at Saratoga Race Course for the 141st Travers Stakes on Saturday, Aug. 28; and the opportunity to shadow ESPN commentator Jeannine Edwards and receive a behind-the-scenes tour at Belmont Park the day before the running of the 2011 Belmont Stakes. All proceeds from the silent auction will benefit BCRF. The silent auction will be held in the luxury tent opposite the Jockey Silks Room until 4 p.m.

The recently crowned Miss New York will make a special guest appearance on Fabulous Fillies Day. Claire Buffie will be joined by several contestants from the Miss New York pageant to meet fans, sign autographs, and collect donations for BCRF throughout the afternoon in the backyard near the Big Red Spring. Miss New York will also co-present the trophy for the day’s race named in honor of Fabulous Fillies Day.

Hollywood hat designer Patricia Underwood, whose headpieces have been featured in the films Four Weddings and a Funeral and Sabrina, will also make a special appearance for the day. Pieces from Underwood’s latest line, as well as designer apparel and accessories from global luxury brand St. John Boutique, will be modeled from 1 to 4 p.m.

Additionally, a number of refreshments will be available in an effort to raise awareness and funds to support breast cancer research. A specialty signature cocktail, The Grey Goose Pink Ribbon, and pink lemonade will be available at various locations, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Donations to BCRF can be made throughout the day at the community outreach booth in front of the Jockey Silks Room, where BCRF executives and volunteers will be available to discuss the organization’s mission, goals and services.

Ladies are invited to stroll through the backyard to visit the B95.5 Women’s Expo, where a host of interactive exhibit and demonstrations focused on beauty, health care and leisure will be on display. The expo, located near the Big Red Spring, will be open from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Expo highlights include:

  • Ania Hair Studio will host the only stylists in the area certified in the Ouidad, a haircut patented specifically for curly hair.
  • Rumors, a hair salon and spa, will showcase their specialty up-dos, the perfect accessory to complement ladies’ track attire.
  • The Wesley Community will provide guests with information about a variety of elder care options available at the continuum care community, plus strategies for adapting to roles as caregivers for aging parents.
  • Ellis Hospital will present healthcare information specifically for women including cardiac and neurological health, stroke prevention, maternity care and breast and pelvic health.
  • Wilton Mall at Saratoga will showcase the latest in track and fall fashions.
  • Arbonne International will present a line of inner and outer health and beauty products.
  • American Laser Centers will feature information on laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation and cellulite reduction services.
  • The Crissy Sun Catcher will have on display a product designed to protect against the sun’s harmful rays to allow you to enjoy the outdoors even on the hottest days.
  • Rosebud Johnnies will showcase the latest styles in handbags.

Fabulous Fillies Day is sponsored by Betfair TVG, NYTHA and NYRA. For up-to-date information on Fabulous Fillies Day and other special events, please visit

About The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® was founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder as an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to funding innovative clinical and translational research. In October 2010, BCRF will award $33 million to over 170 scientists across the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. Over the past year, more than 88 cents of each dollar donated to the Foundation went directly to breast cancer research and awareness programs. And the American Institute of Philanthropy has awarded the Foundation its highest possible rating of A+. BCRF is the only breast cancer organization to receive this accolade; and is the only cancer organization to currently hold this ranking. For more information about BCRF, visit