BEST

TCA Offering Emergency Funds, Resources To Help Backstretch Workers And Aftercare Groups

Thoroughbred Charities of America’s Horses First Fund is providing funding to backstretch and aftercare organizations working to support the Thoroughbred community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Established in 2016 by LNJ Foxwoods, the Horses First Fund assists Thoroughbreds and their caretakers in need of emergency aid due to large scale neglect, natural disaster, or other catastrophe. The Backstretch […]

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Racing At Aqueduct Suspended Through April 5; Training At Belmont To Continue

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that live racing at Aqueduct Racetrack will be suspended through at least April 5 due to the continued impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in New York. As a result, the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino, previously slated for April 4 […]

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B.E.S.T. Seeking Donations For Negative Pressure Room, A ‘Critical Cog’ In Battling Epidemic

The importance of the Backstretch Employee Service Team of New York (B.E.S.T.) is more pronounced than ever with live racing at Aqueduct Racetrack suspended until further notice due to changing circumstances in the racing community relative to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Led by Executive Director Paul Ruchames from Cottage 28B on the Belmont Park backstretch, B.E.S.T.’s […]

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Sacco: ‘Important To Maintain Some Normalcy’ Through The ‘Uncharted Waters’ Of COVID-19

Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables’ Mind Control, a dual Grade 1-winner on the New York Racing Association (NYRA) circuit, breezed three furlongs in 36.04 seconds on Saturday on the Belmont Park training track. Trained by Gregg Sacco, the 4-year-old Stay Thirsty colt posted his first breeze since his rallying score in the Grade 3, […]

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‘She Was A Voice For Us’: Backstretch Appreciation Program An Ongoing Reminder Of Marylou Whitney’s Legacy

Paul Ruchames, executive director of the Backstretch Employee Service Team in New York, compares the late Marylou Whitney to Johnny Appleseed. “She’s put these seeds all over that will outlive her and keep her good works going,” he said. One of her great works and one her husband, John Hendrickson, remains deeply committed to continuing […]

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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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