In partnership with the West Virginia Breast Health Initiative, Inc., Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races will once again present a day of activities dedicated to the fight against breast cancer for the 11th straight year. On Saturday, September 21, Hollywood Casino will host a 5K fun run, the 11th annual Race for the Ribbon track walk, a silent auction, a night of Thoroughbred racing and other events at the property throughout the day. The prior Race for the Ribbons have raised approximately $160,000 for breast cancer care and treatment in the state of West Virginia.
“Without a doubt, this is one of our most favorite FUNdraisers,” said Debbie Townsend, President of WVBHI and whose Mom is a 40 year breast cancer Survivor. “We are always excited and honored to be teaming up with our friends and supporters from Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races for our 11th Annual Race for the Ribbon. Thanks to the support and generosity of great folks like Erich Zimny, Kelly Weist and their entire Team, we can continue to help West Virginians receive breast cancer education, screenings and support.”
Events for the eleventh annual Race for the Ribbon on Saturday, September 21, begin at 8:30 a.m. with the fifth running of the Race for the Ribbon 5K that will start and finish at Hollywood Casino. The event is a stroller friendly walk/run open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities with details on registration for the Race for the Ribbon 5K available at: www.iamthlete.com/events/racefortheribbon5k2019. All participants in the Race for the Ribbon 5K will receive a swag bag and t-shirt with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races donating all entry fees to the West Virginia Breast Health Initiative.
Following the 5K is the ceremonial walk around the track at noon where each $25 donation for participation in the walk will come with a commemorative t-shirt. Throughout the day, patrons are also invited to check out the pink lemonade stand, silent auction and pink hat contest, which will award cash prizes for “best hats in show.” 5pm will see the kickoff of an evening of world class Thoroughbred racing that includes six stakes races.
Saturday's full schedule is as follows:
- 8:30am – Start of 5K at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races (rain or shine)
- 10:30am – Registration for the Breast Cancer walk around the track
- 12:00pm – Breast Cancer walk around the track (weather permitting)
- 5:00pm – Start of silent auction on the mezzanine level of the grandstand
- 5:00pm – Post time for the 1st race
- 8:00pm – Judging for Pink Hat Contest on the track apron, with $500 prize to the winner
- 9:45pm – $75,000 Misty Bennett Pink Ribbon Stakes
- 10:00pm – Silent auction ends
- 10:30pm – $300,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3)
“For a decade, our property has been able to host the Race for the Ribbon to raise a real, tangible amount of money for breast cancer services that's kept locally in West Virginia and we couldn't be more honored to do so,” said Scott Saunders, Charles Town's General Manager. “We would love to see an even bigger outpouring of support from local businesses and leaders in the community than we've gotten in the past for every part of the day, including the 5K which I'm hoping to take part in and see others from the area doing so as well.”
The night of racing includes eight stakes races altogether and is headlined by the second graded race on Charles Town's calendar – the $300,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3) for 3-year-old fillies. New for 2019 is the inaugural running of the $100,000 Dickie Moore, named after the track's longtime General Manager of Racing who retired at the end of 2018. Being reprised once again is the Misty Bennett Pink Ribbon Stakes in honor of Misty Bennett, the West Virginia Breast Health Initiative's Mission and Outreach Coordinator who passed away in March of last year.
“It's great to be able to run a race like the Charles Town Oaks, but it's also great that we're able to honor someone like Dickie who has meant so much to not only this property, but the entire community,” said Charles Town's Vice President of Racing & Sports Operations Erich Zimny. “And with how much Misty meant to not only the West Virginia Breast Health Initiative, but for this event itself, it's only fitting that she's paid tribute as well.”
The full stakes lineup at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on Race for the Ribbon day is comprised of:
- Charles Town Oaks (G3), $300,000, Fillies 3YO, 7 furlongs
- Dickie Moore S., $100,000, Fillies 2YO, 7 furlongs
- Misty Bennett Pink Ribbon S., $75,000, Fillies & Mares 3&up, 7 furlongs
- Henry Mercer Memorial, $50,000, WV-bred 2YO, 4 1/2 furlongs
- Rachel's Turn, $50,000, WV-bred Fillies 2YO, 4 1/2 furlongs
- Sadie Hawkins S., $50,000, WV-bred Fillies & Mares 3&up, 7 furlongs
- Frank Gall Memorial, $50,000, WV-bred 3&up, 7 furlongs
The Race for the Ribbon card is responsible for six of the eight largest non-Charles Town Classic day all-sources handle figures in track history with the 2013 card holding the record for wagering volume on a non-Classic program with over $2.2 million wagered. In its short history, the Charles Town Oaks itself has seen the likes of multiple Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll as well as Grade 1 winners Her Smile, Book Review and So Many Ways take to the gate to contest it. In 2018, Late Night Pow Wow scored a popular win for the local contingent by taking the Oaks and become just the second West Virginia bred and sired horse to win a graded stakes.
The stakes laden Race for the Ribbon program will be televised by TVG2, who will provide in-studio coverage of the event and can also be heard on the Horse Racing Radio Network.
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