Saratoga Springs has long been known by race fans and vacationers as the “Summer Place to Be”. This phrase was originally coined by the Queen of Saratoga, Marylou Whitney, as the “August Place to Be” when the racing meet only ran for 24 days. It has since been used by both the City and Saratoga Race Course. This summer, we at Thorobros will highlight the events both on track and off-track that we deem are the “places to be” that week.
The Second week of racing starts today, Wednesday 7/21, with a must see for all horse fans. Clearly the Place to Be Today is Thoroughbred Aftercare Day at the Races – a day celebrating and highlighting the efforts of so many industry members and partners to provide the equine stars of our sport with second careers, care and comfort following their retirement from racing.
There will be an exhibition showcasing the skills that retired thoroughbreds have learned in their second careers, including one of our favorites, Inventor’s Gate, showing off his ranch riding chops. Also present will be other NY Breds - Graded Stakes Winner Zivo, and Uncle Sigh, who many will remember from the 2014 KY Derby, showing off their respectful new jobs and what life after racing can look like.
All major aftercare organizations, including the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), ReRun, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), New Vocations, the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program and the TAKE THE LEAD Retirement Program will be in attendance and offer fans the opportunity to learn more about these important organizations. To the casual fan, thoroughbred aftercare is not something on the forefront of their experience in racing. But it is events like this that let fans see the needs, and also the benefits both equine and human, of thoroughbred aftercare. All of these organizations are not for profit and rely primarily on donations for their success. If you are out at the track, I would encourage you to donate to these causes as without them our sport would not be the success that it is today.
It also is fittingly the running of Rick Violette stakes for NY Breds. Rick was a champion of aftercare and of New York Bred racing – a member of the racing community that is sorely missed by all of its members. Rick served as the long time president of New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) and was instrumental in starting its TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program and the TAKE THE LEAD Retirement Program. Racing fans can show their support by texting AFTERCARE2021 to 44321 and donating to TAKE THE LEAD, or by opting to make a donation to the TAA when cashing a winning ticket on an AmTote International self-service betting terminal. Donations are tax deductible.
If you are out at the track today, and especially if you pick a few winners, please consider contributing to the betterment of the sport by donating to one, or all, of these great organizations. And if donation is not your thing, speak with the representatives of these organizations to learn more about volunteer options – especially with Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF). TRF is a Saratoga Springs based not for profit with farms all over the United States and is always looking for volunteers.