Sunday, December 8, 2013

Spirit of Giving Weekend at the Big A

NYRA was proud to host Spirit of Giving Weekend at the Big A on December 7th and 8th! NYRA Vice President of Development, David O'Rourke, welcomed back Major Chuck Kilbride, U.S. Marines (ret.), and the U. S. Marine Corps cadets as they returned to Aqueduct for their annual Toys for Tots campaign. Joining them were Nassau County Executive, Ed Mangano, Chairman of the 2013 Toys for Tots campaign, and Acacia Courtney, Miss New York City.

Thoroughbred owner, Harold Lerner, contributed $10,000 to the Toys for Tots program which collects and distributes new, unwrapped toys for children in need during the holiday season. NYRA and NYTHA are making annual financial contributions and trainer, Gary Contessa, will donated 100% of his earnings on Sunday, December 8th.

NYRA thanks ALL of our fans who contributed to the 2013 Toys for Tots campaign!

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center was once again the beneficiary of the proceeds of our Stocking Stuffer sale of NYRA giveaways.

Monday, October 14, 2013

NYRA's Float Supports the 50th Annual Hispanic Day Parade!

The New York Racing Association, Inc. was proud to support the 50th Annual Hispanic Day Parade in NYC on Sunday, October 13th. Participants included Eclipse winning retired jockey, Ramon Dominquez, and representatives of the Backstretch Employee Service Team, the Racetrack Chaplaincy, and the Belmont Child Care Association. Rodnell Workman, NYRA Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Brett Tessler, NYRA Marketing Assistant, and NYRA's mascot, Auggie the horse, were pleased to be along for the ride!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fabulous Fillies Day at Belmont Park

Fan entered the Clubhouse on Saturday, October 5th and walked the pink carpet to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The NYRA flag turned pink for the day, the Secretariat statue was adorned with a pink blanket, and the grooms wore pink jackets.
The New York Racing Association, Inc. was proud to welcome women from the fashion industry to the first ever Little Black Dress Luncheon.
Belmont Park featured a PINKOUT in the paddock where our fans received perfume chocolates as thank you for wearing pink. Funds were collected for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and NYRA was proud to welcome the Adelphi University Breast Cancer Hotline Program and the Maurer Foundation to our venue this year!
Miss New York City, Acacia Courtney, joined us for a fun-filled afternoon.
Perks for Wearing Pink included a trophy presentation for the best turned out Fabulous Filly and Fellow as well as two VIP tickets to the 2014 Belmont Stakes.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Garden City Goes to the Races!

The Garden City Chamber of Commerce Foundation celebrated the running of the Garden City Stakes on Saturday, September 14th at Belmont Park. Garden City Mayor, John Watras, presented the trophy for the Grade 1, Garden City, and members of the Foundation enjoyed a luncheon in the Belmont Room and presented the trophy for several races while raising significant funds.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fabulous Fillies Day 2013 - Saratoga Race Course - Honors Marylou Whitney

The 3rd Annual Fabulous Fillies Day at Saratoga Race Course was a smashing success raising $100,000 for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation to fund important research while also raising awareness for the cause!

The Sizzling Hot Pink Saratoga Hat Luncheon, presented by Escada, honored Marylou Whitney and featured guest speaker, Dr. Larry Norton.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Official Saratoga 150 Celebration on August 3, 2013

NYRA was proud to host the official Saratoga 150 Celebration on Saturday, August 3rd, Whitney Day! NYRA CEO and President, Chris Kay, was joined by NYRA Board Members: Charles Wait, Chairman of the Saratoga 150 Committee, and John Hendrickson, Honorary Chairman of the Saratoga 150 Committee.

United States Congressman, Paul Tonko, presented NYRA with the Saratoga 150 proclamation which was read into the record on the floor of the United States House of Representatives commemorating 150 years of thoroughbred racing at Saratoga Race Course.

The Preservation League of New York State presented NYRA with a plaque as NYRA recognized them on their 40th Anniversary.

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, the Saratoga Preservation Foundation, and Yaddo were among the community organizations recognized for their long-standing history with the track on this special occasion.

Fans sang "Happy Birthday, Saratoga" as the Cake Boss presented a Saratoga Race Course to mark the occasion.

NYRA was proud to have Marylou Whitney join in the celebration on the day which also highlighted The Whitney Stakes.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Saratoga Race Course Celebrates 150 Years of Thoroughbred Racing

On July 19th, Opening Day, NYRA kicked-off the official Saratoga 150 Celebration at Saratoga Race Course! NYRA President and CEO, Chris Kay, raised the Saratoga 150 flag with NYRA Board member and Chairman of the Saratoga 150 Committee,Charles Wait.

Before the first race, Chris Kay and Charles Wait were joined by NYRA Board Member, John Hendrickson, Honorary Chairman of the Saratoga 150 Committee, for the official ribbon-cutting to open the 2013 Saratoga race meet and receive the time capsule.

Join Hendrickson and Marylou Whitney commissioned the Saratoga 150 painted horse by Robert Clark which is on display near The Post at Saratoga Race Course for the duration of the meet.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Saratoga 150 Time Capsule Send-Off at Belmont Park

The Saratoga 150 time capsule began its journey from Belmont Park to Saratoga Race Course in style as it received items commemorating the 40th anniversary of Secretariat's Triple Crown win!
The time capsule will make stops in Albany where it will receive a proclamation from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo marking the 150th Anniversary of Saratoga Race Course. The time capsule will continue its journey to Union College in Schenectady, the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, the Saratoga Battlefield in the National Historic Park, and Ulysses S. Grant's Cottage.
You can view the route of the time capsule on and ALL fans are welcome to stop by to see the time capsule in the Guest Services Building at Saratoga Race Course throughout the meet.
Please contact me to make arrangements for any object you may wish to provide to the time capsule before the end of the race meet. The time capsule will be buried at Saratoga Race Course.

NYRA Welcomes Community to Saratoga 150 Open House and Concert

On July 14th, NYRA opened the gates to Saratoga Race Course for the 33rd Annual Open House. Community organizations are welcome each year to provide information about their missions to thousands who flock to the track each year one week before the official opening of the race meet.
This year, in conjunction with the celebration of 150 years of thoroughbred racing at Saratoga Race Course, NYRA was proud to offer the community a FREE concert with Disney Channel star, Zendaya! Over 22,000 patrons attended this family fun-filled afternoon.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

NYRA Welcomes Annual Race Against MS on June 20 - Celebrating 31 Years at Belmont Park

And they're off! You are invited for an afternoon of exciting thoroughbred racing on June 20th at Belmont Park for the 31st Annual Race Against MS. Hosted by NBC sportscaster, Bruce Beck, guests will enjoy cocktails, lunch and a fabulous live and silent auction to benefit the New York City - Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society. Glen J. Weiss of Vornado Realty Trust is the honoree of the day and you may register at

NYRA salutes the MS Society and their long-time loyalty.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Floral Park Belmont Stakes Festival Completes Belmont Stakes Week

The Floral Park Belmont Stakes Festival completed the week-long festivities with a celebration for Palice Malice, winner of the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes! The NYRA starting gate was a huge hit with the children of the Village of Floral Park and the Equestrian Art Show, sponsored by NYRA and the Floral Park Art League, provided a wonderful opportunity for artists to express what the Belmont Stakes means to them. I was delighted to present the award to the winner of the Floral Park Art League's annual top prize. The well-attended afternoon was filled with family fun and wonderful music. NYRA was proud to sponsor this annual event with the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

NYRA Salutes Oklahoma and It's Horses on Belmont Stakes Day

NYRA was proud to welcome the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma Benevolent Fund and the American Red Cross on Belmont Stakes Day. We highlighted the work of both organizations and the help that they are providing to the horsemen and horses of Oklahoma following the devastation caused by the tornado. All funds raised on track were matched by NYRA.

NYRA Chief Financial Officer, Susanne Stover, and David O'Rourke, Vice President Corporate Development, welcomed John Miller, CEO, American Red Cross on Long Island, and Danielle Barber, Executive Director, Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Garden City Belmont Stakes Festival Postponed Until June 28

The Garden City Belmont Stakes Festival was postponed due to weather. Stay tuned for additional information regarding their new date of June 28.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Secretariat's Triple Crown Win at the Elmont Film Festival

The Elmont Film Festival hosted a screening of Ron Turcotte, Secretariat's Jockey at their annual Film Festival held at the Elmont Library's Broadhurst Theatre. The community was delighted to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Secretariat's Triple Crown win by highlighting this important film.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Between the Horse's Ears - A Jockeys View

NYRA Racing Analyst and Retired Jockey, Richard Migliore, provided insight into the life of jockey through a presentation to the East End Civic Association of Elmont. The event was open to the public and guests had an opportunity to ask him questions and share their memories of Belmont Park with him.
Joining Richard Migliore were NYRA executives: Eric Wing, Director of  Communications and Media Relations, Rodnell Workman, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, and Elizabeth Bracken, Vice President of Simulcasting.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

NYRA Hosts 2nd Annual Belmont Stakes Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer

On Sunday evening, June 2nd, 500 runners participated in the 5K Belmont Stakes Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer. NYRA, the Integrated Medical Foundation, and the Greater Long Island Running Club, organized another successful run which raised over $100,000 for prostate cancer research.

Hall of Fame jockey, John Velasquez served as the Grand Marshall along with Sam the Bugler who played the Call to Post and music from Chariots of Fire which put the runners in their stride! John Velasquez was delighted to attend along with his children to cheer on his wife, Leona, who ran in the race.

NYRA Senior Vice President, Patrick Mahony, joined Rhonda Samuel, Executive Director of the Integrated Medical Foundation, and Michael Polansky, President, Greater Long Island Running Club.

The race route took the runners and walkers around the perimeter of the track. As they approached the last quarter mile of the race, they entered the dirt track at the far turn to end the race at the historic Belmont Park FINISH LINE one week prior to the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes!

Congratulations to the NYRA team! The following NYRA staff received awards for their age categories:
Facilities Manager, Peter Mistretta, 3rd place; Group Sales Supervisor, Nicholas Pipia, 2nd place, and Marketing Assistant, Brett Tessler, 2nd place!!!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

NYRA Celebrates the 2013 Belmont Stakes Parade in Elmont

The 5th Annual Belmont Stakes parade was once again a huge success thanks to the hard work of the Elmont community. The Elmont schools, civic associations, and local organizations marched in the parade alongside state and local officials as well as NYRA executives, David O'Rourke, Vice President Corporate Development, and Rodnell Workman, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. The NYRA starting gate, adorned with the Belmont Stakes banner, kicked-off the parade along with Sam the Bugler and the NYRA tram.The Cradle of Aviation Museum,and Soaring Sam and his plane, joined the parade along with the American Red Cross and the North Shore-LIJ Franklin Hospital.

Special thanks to parade organizer, Ralph Esposito, and Family Fun Day organizer, Pat Boyle, Executive Director of Gateway Youth Outreach!

Grand Marshall, Claudine Hall, was acknowleged for her life long work in the Elmont community.

Friday, May 31, 2013

NYRA Kicks-Off Belmont Stakes Festival Week with Annual Jockey Visit to Ronald McDonald House of Long Island

NYRA announced the kick-off to the Belmont Stakes Festival Week with the annual jockey visit to the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. Jockeys, Javier Castellano, Irad Ortiz, and Jose Ortiz brought joy to the children who enjoyed rides aboard the ponies lead by the jockeys. The jockeys provided them with autographed goggles and NYRA's Sam the Bugler serenaded the crowd.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

NYRA Proud to Host the WALK for St. Mary's Kids

NYRA was proud to host the annual WALK for St. Mary's Kids at Belmont Park on Sunday, May 19th. St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Frerichs, was joined by Grand Marshall, NYRA Vice President, Elizabeth Brackin, and a host of volunteers and supporters of St. Mary's to WALK for the kids. They showed their support on a rainy day at Belmont Park, but their smiles made it seem like the sun was shining! We look forward to welcoming them back next year and we are proud to serve as a community partner to this outstanding hospital.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NYRA Employees Trained By American Red Cross

A team of dedicated NYRA employees joined the American Red Cross for their first disaster preparedness training Ready When the Time Comes. We thank our employees for their commitment to serving the greater community and helping to uphold NYRA's mission of being a good corporate citizen and neighbor to the local communities surrounding our three racetracks: Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course. We will provide periodic updates on the NYRA Team!

Friday, April 26, 2013

NYRA Welcomes Local Community Leaders on April 26 - Opening Day at Beautiful Belmont Park

NYRA Chief Financial Officer, Suzanne Stover, officiated at the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the paddock, to welcome local community leaders as we officially opened Belmont Park for the 2013 spring meet.

Community leaders from Nassau County, the Town of Hempstead, Elmont, Floral Park and Garden City joined us for a beautiful afternoon of racing. In addition, Gateway Youth Outreach of Elmont joined us to thank NYRA officials and Kiaran McLaughlin Racing for hosting the Kiaran's Kids after school program. The group was delighted to be joined by Hall of Fame jockey, John Velasquez, and Eclipse Award winning jockey, Ramon Dominguez.

NYRA and our caterer, Centerplate, announced the creation of the Belmont Park Community Garden located near the Grandstand entrance. The garden will be maintained by the children of Gateway Youth Outreach and they will work NYRA staff and the chefs at Centerplate.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

NYRA and the American Red Cross

NYRA hosted a Blood Drive at the Big A on Friday, April 5th in conjunction with the American Red Cross and we thank our employees and our patrons for their participation. All donors received special promotional tickets to sporting events and local restaurants. It was an exciting day to host this event a day before the Grade 1 Wood Memorial!

NYRA is proud to partner with the American Red Cross Long Island Chapter as we work together for the benefit or our neighbors and local communities.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

NYRA is proud to host GO RED for WOMEN at the Big A

NYRA provided opportunites for our fans to donate to the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign at the Big A on Saturday, February 16th. NYRA employees wore red to bring awareness to this important cause and we thank our employees and our fans for their outreach and personal support. Each person received a special pin with a two dollar contribution.

NYRA Fans Sign a Card for Ramon Dominguez

NYRA fans showed their support for Ramon Dominguez by signing a card at the Big A on Saturday, February 16th. As Ramon continues to recover from his injuries, we thank our fans for showing their support and appreciation!