At a luncheon honoring New York and Nassau County law enforcement personnel, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Breeder Cup Limited and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) distributed $2.5 million from the NTRA Charities - New York Heroes Fund to 11 local organizations aiding families affected by the World Trade Center attack. Th ceremony marks the second distribution of Heroes Fund monies to Sept. 11-related charities and brings the fund's total disbursements to $3.5 million.
The NTRA, Breeders' Cup and NYRA formed the NTRA Charities - New York Heroes Fund to benefit the families of the rescue personnel and other victims of Sept. 11 and dedicated the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, run at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., in their honor. Through pledges of purse earnings by owners, trainers and jockeys, World Thoroughbred Championships day raised more than $2 million for the fund.
Leadership contributions to the fund have included nearly $2 million from Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's Godolphin Stable, which donated 100 percent of its net earnings from the World Thoroughbred Championships; $1 million from longtime owner/breeder Harry T. Mangurian; $133,000 from Coolmore principals John and Susan Magnier, their racing partner Michael Tabor and Coolmore trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Michael Kinane, all of whom donated 10 percent of their winnings from Championships day at Belmont; and $125,000 from a breeding season to Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Point Given, donated by The Thoroughbred Corp. an purchased by Robert Courtney at an auction to benefit the Heroes Fund.
A $1 million pledge by owner/breeder Ernie Paragallo, to be paid over several years, and pledges from other sources, will bring the Heroes Fund total to approximately $5 million - well over the fund's original goal of $1 million. With fund-raising programs now concluded, future monies received will b earmarked for scholarship programs aiding children and dependents of Sept. 11 victims as well as armed forces personnel.
"Along with these contributions, we extend our deepest sympathy to the families who have suffered as a result of Sept. 11," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "We hope that our support will, in some way, provide a measure of comfort and assistance to those who have lost loved ones."
"We salute the courage, professionalism and steadfast determination of the New York firefighters, police, Port Authority and emergency services personnel, and their families," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., president of Breeders' Cup Limited. "They have sacrificed tremendously but continue to carry on with everyday life and the job of restoring their community. We saw this firsthand during the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont, and our admiration is profound."
Organizations receiving funds today are the Diocese of Rockville Centre (N.Y.) Emergency Relief Fund - World Trade Center Disaster Fund, the Garden City (N.Y.) Community Fund - Family Relief Fund, the Port Authority Police World Trade Disaster Survivor's Fund, the World Trade Center Port Authority Memorial Fund, Salvation Army of Greater New York, The New York Times 9/11 Neediest Fund, the Disaster Relief Fund (Newsday/McCormick Tribune Foundation) the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund, the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund, the Twin Towers Fund and the Silver Shield Foundation.