Beginning Saturday, July 13, the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF) is launching a series of free-to-enter contests over the next eight Saturdays in which participants will answer a series of prop-style questions, similar to offerings in states with legalized sports betting. Those with the highest scores each week, and overall, will win the right to direct charitable contributions to several jockey health-related initiatives.
“The future of American wagering on horse racing must include fixed-odds and exchange options if we are to remain competitive in the modern betting marketplace. While our existing pari-mutuel options can and should remain available, and fully recognizing that the majority of those are exotic bet-types which would remain untouched by bookmakers, it is beyond time for industry stakeholders to take notice of the revolution sweeping America and create ways for racing to be more actively involved,” said Pat Cummings, TIF Executive Director.
Donations, which will total $25,000 by the end of the summer, will be directed by contest winners to entities which either support injured jockeys, or work to improve standards of protection or health, recovery and performance of jockeys. They include: The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, University of Kentucky's Sports Medicine Research Institute (Jockey & Equestrian Initiative), Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) Helmet Lab Research (Equestrian Helmet Project).
“The University of Kentucky Sports Medicine Research Institute (SMRI) extends our gratitude to the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF) for their forward thinking efforts to always advance the racing industry, and especially by recognizing that jockeys and riders are critical assets to the future of our sport,” said Scott Lephart, founder of the SMRI, Dean of UK's College of Health Sciences and professor and endowed chair of orthopedic research.
“The mission of the Jockey Equestrian Initiative (JEI) of the SMRI is to optimize health, wellness, and performance for the jockey through contemporary sports medicine research strategies.
“TIF is breaking new barriers in the sport of Thoroughbred racing by bringing awareness to the work of SMRI/JEI and committing funds to critical research that enables the racing industry to be at the cutting edge of safety and performance while ensuring the sustainability of racing and well-being of the jockeys.”
“We look forward to sharing more about the work of these organizations over the course of the summer,” said Cummings. “Those seeking to improve the conditions, performance and treatment of jockeys help raise the overall standing of our sport.”
Each weekly contest will feature 12 props and a tiebreaker. The individual with the most props correct will get to direct $1,250, while second directs $500 and third will direct $250. Participant points will accrue over the course of the summer and four highest scores of each participant will count towards the final summer standings.
At the conclusion of the contest, the entrant with the highest four-contest total will get to direct $5,000, second-highest will direct $3,000 and third-highest will direct $1,000. Individual winners can also identify other jockey-specific charitable entities.
More than 200 people participated in a similar one-day contest linked to prop outcomes from the Belmont Stakes card on June 8.
Each week's props will be set by a different guest, which includes handicappers and racing media. Entries for the first contest will be available beginning Thursday, July 11. Please follow TIF on Twitter @RacingIdeas for a link to enter.
The schedule of guest prop-setters is as follows:
Saturday, July 13 – Peter Thomas Fornatale @loomsboldly
Saturday, July 20 – Britney Eurton @BritneyEurton
Saturday, July 27 – Jonathan Kinchen @utbighair
Saturday, August 3 – Paul Matties @PaulMattiesJr
Saturday, August 10 – Michelle Yu @TheMichelleYu
Saturday, August 17 – Matt Bernier @Bernier_Matt
Saturday, August 24 – Nick Tammaro @NTamm1215
Saturday, August 31 – Craig Bernick @Craig_Bernick
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