Good News Friday sponsored by Liberation Farm: Brightening Our Breeders’ Cup Path

by | 11.17.2010 | 12:48am

“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.” – Buddhist expression

By Ray Paulick
I have a confession to make to our readers. While so many of you helped Breeders' Cup Charities raise, by last count, nearly $80,000 in the second annual Breeders' Cup or Bust fundraiser to help the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, V Foundation for Cancer Research, and Thoroughbred Charities of America, I feel as though the biggest beneficiary was my own inner spirit. Though it's a cliché, I've learned — rather late in life — that in helping others we really do help ourselves.

The path that Brad Cummings and I took from Lexington to Louisville was brightened considerably by the cheers and kind words we heard as we left Keeneland Oct. 27 on our 85-mile walk, accompanied by Thoroughbred Charities of America president Dan Rosenberg. Even before then, however, we were encouraged by the reception for what we were doing through the support of people like Antony Beck of Gainesway Farm, Bob Evans of Churchill Down Inc., and Dennis Mills of MI Developments, who each stepped up with substantial donations to the three charities.

Along the way, we were accorded wonderful hospitality by Elliott Walden and the folks at WinStar Farm and Dermot Ryan at Ashford Stud. We had lunch with former Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones, met with Robert and Case Clay at Three Chimneys, Bill Farish at Lane's End, and Oldham County horseman and Kentucky state Rep. David Osborne. We were overwhelmed on the second day of the walk when Lane's End farm manager Mike Cline and 20 or 30 farm-hands and office staff came out to greet and walk with us along Midway Road.

Retired Hall of Famer Pat Day joined us one morning, along with contemporary riders Jon Court (a member of the PDJF board), Otto Thorwarth (who played Ron Turcotte in the Secretariat movie) and up-and-comer Ben Creed, who all walked with us through Shelbyville in Shelby County. We picked up some unexpected auction items along the way that helped raise additional funds: halters worn by Giant's Causeway and Fusaichi Pegaus from Ashford Stud, and a beautiful  print from an original painting of Zenyatta by the exceptional equine artist Christine Picavet.

We heard the car horns of passers-by, had the opportunity to tell the story of the three charities on radio stations throughout the Blue Grass state, and even got to crash a V Foundation fundraiser brunch upon our arrival at Louisville on Nov. 4. The next day, just as we did at Santa Anita Park in 2009, we were lucky enough to stand next to Bo Derek in a winner's circle check presentation and be surrounded by people who are doing extraordinary work for the three charities.

There were so many generous individuals who supported Breeders' Cup or Bust with donations large and small, and on behalf of the V Foundation, Thoroughbred Charities of America and the  V Foundation we want to thank each and every one of you:

($10,000 Donations)
– Antony Beck family's Gainesway Farm
– Bob Evans of Churchill Downs Inc. and TwinSpires.com
– Dennis Mills of MI Developments and Preakness 5.5

($1,000-$5,000 in donations)
– Bob and Jill Baffert
– Bill and Susan Casner
– Robert, Blythe, and Case Clay, Three Chimneys Farm
– Edward and Candy DeBartolo
– Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
– William S. Farish  and family's Lane's End
– Terry Finley's West Point Thoroughbreds
– Global Gaming and Remington Park
– R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard
– B. Wayne Hughes and Spendthrift Farm
– Brereton, Libby and Bret Jones of Airdrie Stud
– Nick Nicholson and the Keeneland Association team that helped kicked off Breeders' Cup or Bust for the second consecutive year
– Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms
– Bob Manfuso and Chanceland Farm
– Sheikh Mohammed's Darley
– Jerry and Ann Moss and Team Zenyatta
– Oak Tree Racing Association
– Mike and Mary Ellen Pegram
– Satish and Anne Sanan and family's Padua Stables
– Tommy Simon family's Vinery
– Kenny and Lisa Troutt's WinStar Farm
– Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Stud
– Woodbine Entertainment Group

(Up to $999 in donations)
– Josephine Abercrombie and Pin Oak Stud
– Edward Augort
– James Barrick
– Margaret Burlingham
– Alexis Calabrese
– Padraig Campion
– Robert Colton
– Renee Cook
– Jerry Crawford and Donegal Racing
– Shelly Cummings
– Linda Deutsch
– Anne Faulconer
– Merle L. Freeman
– Kevin Gerritt
– Susan Gunnels
– Kevin Hale
– Angus Hamilton
– Lucy Young Hamilton
– Paul Hasken
– Paula Hogan
– Virginia Howard
– Hugh Hurst
– Dave Johnson
– Lawrence Jay Kerr
– William Landes
– Ruth LiVolsi
– Reiley McDonald and Eaton Sales
– John McEvoy
– Cynthia McGinnes
– James Melia Jr.
– Johnathan Miller
– John Moore
– Ted Mudge
– Alex Neuman
– Troi Niehus
– Gloria Nussbaum
– Carol Paulick
– Robert   Penchina
– John Radosevich
– Louis Raffetto
– Don Reed
– Keith Rollins
– Steven Roop
– Dan Rosenberg
– Sandra Salmen
– Tanya Schoenbeck
– Richard Schubert
– Jules Sigler
– Richard Sklar
– Murray Smith Training Stables
– Nicholas Stanfield
– Kathie Roller Stell
– Mark Stockdale
– Sunny Farms
– Michael Tivnan
– Helen Watts
– Paula Weglarz
– Bennett Williams
– Victor Zast

Stefanie Palmieri of Breeders' Cup Charities was an invaluable resource and partner in the planning and execution of the fundraiser, as were all of the people at Breeders' Cup Ltd. and Conover-Tuttle-Pace who assisted us. We made a new friend in Manuel Adum, of La Jolla, Calif., who gave up a week of his time to drive the Breeders' Cup or Bust RV that served as our moving hotel room, helped with logistics, and kept Brad and I relatively sane during the walk. Joe Morris at NTRA Advantage secured a John Deere Gator from Bevins Motors that helped us shuttle back and forth to the RV during our farm visits.

We also owe great thanks to Scott Jagow, the Paulick Report's weekend editor, who took over the website during much of the walk, in what was one of the busiest weeks of the racing year. And of course, we had two video crews help along the way. The guys with the increasingly popular show TCI who also run PM Advertising emerged as a creative powerhouse with their ability to turn around high quality and humorous video footage throughout our walk. And putting together the frightening video of Ray in his infamous yellow basketball jersey and short shorts was Hammond Communications. Both crews were very good at what they do and we had a blast working side by side with each of them.

But the biggest thanks goes to all who contributed to the charities — in varying amounts and in different ways — convincing us once again that this is a most generous and giving industry.

Our blisters are healed, our sore muscles now relaxed, and we are ready to start planning for Breeders' Cup or Bust III.

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