Race fans present Saturday at Belmont Park for the 138th running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) will have the opportunity to sign the world's largest get-well-soon card for Barbaro, the winner of the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) who was subsequently injured during the running of the May 20 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico in Baltimore.
The card measures 62 feet wide and seven feet high and features four life-size images of Barbaro. It will be on display all day on June 10 at Belmont's Grandstand Colonnade, where well-wishers may sign the card free of charge. Donations will also be accepted with all proceeds benefiting The Barbaro Fund and the NTRA Charities – Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Barbaro's jockey, Edgar Prado, will make the ceremonial first signature on the card at 10:00 a.m. The Barbaro Fund supports the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., where Barbaro is currently a patient. Contributions to The Barbaro Fund benefit the entire Widener Hospital and are not directed specifically to the cost of Barbaro's care.
At the conclusion of Belmont Stakes Day, the signed card will be shipped to the New Bolton Center and presented to Barbaro and his owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson.
The NTRA Charities – Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, established in April by a consortium of racetracks, Thoroughbred racing organizations and the Jockeys' Guild, aids permanently disabled jockeys with their health care and daily living expenses.
"We are proud to offer our Belmont Stakes day patrons the opportunity to express their good wishes to Barbaro and, at the same time, raise money for two important charities," said Bill Nader, senior vice president for the New York Racing Association. "Everyone here at Belmont Park would prefer to see Barbaro out on the racetrack, competing for the third jewel in the Triple Crown. We are extremely grateful, however, for the outstanding care he has received from his connections and everyone at Pimlico and the New Bolton Center since his injury, and we look forward to saluting him during the 138th Belmont Stakes."
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