The Thoroughbred Racing Associations' members announced April 24 pledges of more than $250,000 in early commitment funds to aid the nation's permanently disabled jockeys. Beulah Park, Canterbury Park, Delaware Park, Finger Lakes Racing Association, Keeneland Association, Penn National Race Course, and Turfway Park have added their support to the campaign announced April 19. Non-TRA member Charles Town Races & Slots, owned by Penn National Gaming, Inc., has also committed a contribution."We are gratified by the prompt industry response to this situation," said TRA president Corey Johnsen. "Although we have not yet begun the formal solicitation process, it is extremely encouraging to see a number of organizations step forward with a strong commitment."
The TRA and other Thoroughbred racing organizations launched the fundraising campaign to assist permanently disabled jockeys with their health care and living expenses. The goal is to raise $1 million by June 15.
The TRA members previously released in support of the effort are Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), Magna Entertainment (MEC), the New York Racing Association, and Sam Houston Race Park. CDI's commitment includes Arlington Park, Calder Race Course, Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Fair Grounds, and Hoosier Park. The MEC tracks are Golden Gate Fields, Great Lakes Downs, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, Lone Star Park, Pimlico Race Course, Portland Meadows, Remington Park, Santa Anita Park, and Thistledown. The campaign also has the support of other racing organizations, including the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
The California tracks--Bay Meadows, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Golden Gate Fields, Hollywood Park, Los Alamitos Race Course, Santa Anita Park, as well as the Oak Tree Racing Association--have a portion of charity days revenue statutorily mandated to the Disabled Jockeys' Endowment, a separate fund created by the Jockeys' Guild in 2002. The racetracks, in concert with the Jockeys' Guild, will seek to have those mandated monies diverted into the newly created fund for permanently disabled jockeys.
All donations currently flow through the NTRA Charities' Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and are earmarked to assist eligible jockeys permanently disabled in racing-related accidents. Donations may be made by sending a check payable to: NTRA Charities – Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, c/o NTRA, 2525 Harrodsburg Road, Suite 500, Lexington, KY 40504.