NYTHA Pledges $25,000 To Mercy House Of Saratoga In Memory Of Rick Violette

Mercy House of Saratoga, Inc., a new non-profit created to provide temporary residences for a wide range of people in need, has received a pledge of $25,000 from the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) to support and dedicate accommodations for Race Course backstretch workers, it was announced by Gordon Boyd, President of Mercy House. […]

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Memorial For Trainer Rick Violette To Be Held Nov. 26 At Belmont Cafe

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association will host a memorial for Rick Violette Jr. from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26, at the Belmont Café at Belmont Park. Rick, the long-time president of NYTHA, passed away last month. We welcome everyone, from the backstretch and the frontside, to attend this celebration of Rick’s life. Donations […]

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Former NYTHA President Rick Violette Jr. Passes After Battle With Lung Cancer

Trainer Rick Violette Jr., who retired in 2017 after 10 years as President of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and more than 25 years as a member of the NYTHA Board, passed away this morning at his home in Delray Beach, Florida, after a battle with lung cancer. He was 65. Violette was born […]

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After Funding Boost, Services Restored To Saratoga Backstretch Workers

Following a story by WAMC earlier this week that the Backstretch Employee Service Team (BEST) had experienced a cut in its funding for 2018, the radio station reports the organization has gotten a boost in funds. WAMC had noted a clinic on the backstretch had been closed since the track opened for training last month, […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Power’ In Teamwork At Belmont

Extreme weather conditions in New York last week did more than force the cancellation of racing at Aqueduct; on Thursday afternoon, power to the Belmont Park backstretch was lost. Open as a training facility during the winter, Belmont’s power outage left the dorm rooms of approximately 125 stable employees without heat just as the below-freezing […]

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Equestricon Organizers Walk The Barns To Encourage Attendance From Backstretch Workers

Organizers of Equestricon hit the Saratoga backstretch this week to encourage backstretch workers and Spanish speakers to attend the upcoming convention, which will be hosted at the Saratoga Springs City Center Aug. 14-15. The convention features two events specifically aimed at backstretch workers: a seminar from the Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.) detailing services available […]

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Services For Backstretch Workers ‘Noticeably Hit And Miss’ Across The Country

The thousands of backstretch workers, from hot walkers to grooms to exercise riders, have long lacked the appropriate credit for the work that they do seven days a week, 365 days a year. According to the Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, backstretch workers also lack a unified national body which can advocate on their behalf. “The sorts […]

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Travers Celebration raises record $105,000 for two charities

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The co-chairs for the 11th annual Travers Celebration today announced that this year’s event raised $105,000 for its two beneficiaries: the Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.) and the Times Union Hope Fund. The $105,000 donation marks a record-breaking fundraising total for the annual event, which celebrates the arrival of the Grade 1, […]

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