Special Eclipse Award to Afleet Alex's Owners
Updated: Thursday, January 12, 2006 6:40 PM
Posted: Monday, January 9, 2006 12:39 PM
Edited press release
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Afleet Alex's success helped Alex's Lemonade stands.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Monday that Cash is King Racing Stable -- owner of dual classic winner Afleet Alex -- has been honored with the Special Eclipse Award. The Special Eclipse is presented to "honor outstanding individual achievements in, or contributions to, the sport of Thoroughbred racing."
Cash is King is comprised of managing partner Chuck Zacney of Phoenixville, Pa.; Bob Brittingham of Collegeville, Pa.; Joe Judge of Surf City, N.J.; Joe Lerro of Langhorne, Pa. and Jennifer Reeves of Philadelphia. The owners will be presented the award at the 35th annual Eclipse Awards Jan. 23 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Afleet Alex was named for the son of Zacney, as well as the daughters of Lerro and Brittingham. In late September 2004, shortly after Afleet Alex had registered his fourth win from as many starts, Zacney read about Alex's Lemonade Stand, a foundation that had evolved from a young cancer patient's front yard lemonade stand to a nationwide fundraising movement for childhood cancer.
The 8-year-old Connecticut girl who started it all in 2000, Alexandra Scott, had died just a few weeks earlier, on August 1. Upon learning that the charity was determined to continue its efforts despite the death of young Alex, Zacney and the Cash is King Stable decided that they and their colt could contribute to the cause that clearly transcended the world of horse racing.
Cash is King Racing Stable pledged a portion of Afleet Alex's future earnings to Alex's Lemonade Stand, and along with their trainer, Tim Ritchey, donated time and visited children's cancer wings of hospitals in Louisville, Baltimore, and New York before Afleet Alex's Triple Crown races. "We gave out plenty of Afleet Alex hats and posters," said Zacney. "We had a ton of support from these kids. Most of these kids did not know who we were but all heard of Afleet Alex. It was great to walk into a room and see a big smile. These kids made our experience even more special."
Thanks in large part to the strong support of Cash is King Stable, an Alex's Lemonade Stand was present at Churchill Downs all during the week of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Other tracks and horsemen soon got behind the effort-as well as the national media. On Belmont Stakes Day, there were 1,100 Alex's Lemonade stands scattered across the U.S., including dozens at racetracks and wagering facilities from coast to coast. By the end of 2005, Alex's Lemonade Stand had raised more than $3.5 million during the preceding 12 months--its best year by far.
Cash is King Racing Stable members pointed out the time and charitable contribution of Afleet Alex's jockey, Jeremy Rose, and J.J. Graci and Anita "Sam" St. Clair.
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