Two-time Breeders' Cup-winning owner Ernie Paragallo has pledged $1 million to the NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Limited announced Wednesday.
The contribution takes the form of multi-year stallion seasons to champion sprinter Artax and to Unbridled's Song, with whom Paragallo won the 1999 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and the 1995 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), respectively. Paragallo has guaranteed a minimum contribution of $1 million should there be any shortfall after the seasons, for 2002-2004, are sold.
New York-based Paragallo, an investment banker and Thoroughbred owner, races under the nom de course Paraneck Stable. He is two-for-two in Breeders' Cup races. The Brooklyn native, who formerly worked on Wall Street, makes the contribution in memory of several friends and firefighters who perished in the attack on the World Trade Center.
"The NTRA and Breeders' Cup are deeply grateful to Ernie for this generous gift," said Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr. "We hope his compassion will inspire others who have been touched by the events of Sept. 11 to step forward and support the Heroes Fund or other charities that will aid the victims and their families."
The Heroes Fund was established to assist the families of New York firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel, and other victims in the surrounding communities who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
The NTRA, Breeders' Cup Limited and the New York Racing Association will dedicate the World Thoroughbred Championships to the memory of those who perished and to their survivors. NTRA and NYRA will contribute a portion of each paid admission from the Breeders' Cup to the Heroes Fund, along with a percentage of other revenue in connection with the event. The NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund also will be the recipient of all proceeds of the Breeders' Cup Charity Gala, scheduled for Oct. 26 in New York City.
Collectively, members of the horseracing community have contributed more than $9 million to relief efforts, including more than $2 million to the Heroes Fund.
Formed in 1999, NTRA Charities is a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) subsidiary of the NTRA. For more information on the NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund, horseracing's response to the crisis, or to make a tax-deductible contribution, contact the NTRA at (800) 792-6872 or visit www.breederscup.com/racingresponds.