The Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration, held at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain in New York City Thursday night, raised approximately $400,000, which will be evenly divided between the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. Approximately 300 people attended the event.
Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is the nation's leading source of private equine research funding and helps all breeds of horses; the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) is the largest equine sanctuary in the world and is devoted to the rescue, retirement, rehabilitation, and retraining of Thoroughbreds.
The evening featured a live auction and the presentation to Flay of the Earle I. Mack Thoroughbred Champion Award, annually given to an individual for outstanding efforts and influence on Thoroughbred racehorse welfare, safety and retirement.
Among the highlights of the auction:
A 2013 “Breeders' Cup Extravaganza,” which includes private, round-trip jet travel from the New York area to Los Angeles, sold for $62,000. The winning bidder was Fred Hertrich III.
Two “Dream Vacations in Tuscany,” which each feature a one-week stay a farmhouse on the La Foce estate, sold for $25,000 and $24,000. The winning bidders were Bob Masterson and Vinnie Viola.
A “Travers Weekend Spectacular,” which featured four nights of luxurious lodging and an owner's box for five people Friday, Saturday and Sunday, sold for $18,000. The winning bidder was Virginia Guest Valentine.
A halter worn by European sensation Frankel sold for $18,000. The winning bidder was Ronald Frankel.
“We are immensely grateful to all of the people and organizations who supported this event,” said Diana Pikulski, vice president of external affairs of TRF. “Each of them demonstrated a sincere commitment to the proper care for Thoroughbreds when their racing careers have ended.”
“The many improvements in surgical techniques and disease control through the years have been made possible by equine research, and the success of an event like this enables us to fund additional research that will help all horses in the future,” said Dell Hancock, chairman of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
Following is a summary of the other six auction items:
- Two tickets to this Sunday's Tony Awards sold for $4,500 each to both Evan Eads and Bruce Lunsford.
- Richard Meister was the winning bidder ($3,000) for tickets to the American Music Awards in Los Angeles in November.
- Peter Bradley was the winning bidder ($22,000) for a breeding right to Mineshaft.
- Rock Talk Farm was the winning bidder ($20,000) for a breeding right to Ghostzapper.
- Alan Quartucci was the winning bidder ($45,000) for a breeding right to Animal Kingdom.
- Barry Weisbord was the winning bidder ($52,000) for a breeding right to Kitten's Joy.
All four of the seasons were sold with a right of free return if the mares fail to produce a live foal from the 2014 cover.
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