Beginning with the 2008 season, horse owners at Emerald Downs can make contributions to accredited Thoroughbred rescue, retirement and rehabilitation facilities through a voluntary $1 per start minimum contribution from their horsemen's bookkeeper accounts.
All contributions to “The Prodigious Fund” will be dispersed at the end of each racing year to approved organizations. Emerald Downs will match every dollar raised by contributing owners.
For the 2008 racing year Emerald Downs has designated two charities to receive the proceeds: Second Chance Ranch of Elma, Wash., and Chez Cheveaux of Monroe, Wash.
The Prodigious Fund is named in honor of the former racehorse that finished his career at Emerald Downs in 2007 as a 10-year-old. He raced 52 times, several of his starts coming in graded stakes races from Emerald Downs to Del Mar, including two appearances in the Longacres Mile (gr. III). He ended his career in a $3,500 claiming event.
Susie Sourwine, vice president of marketing at Emerald Downs, has been the driving force behind The Prodigious Fund. “We've had an amazing early response in pledges from our horsemen here,” she said.
“Horses like Prodigious, who have raced past their ability to participate in a second career, others who need to be rescued from extremely neglectful situations often one or two owners removed from their racetrack career, and those others just needing an expert hand to redirect them into a successful second career deserve the financial support of the industry.”
To be eligible to receive funds organizations must be a registered 501C-3 charity with a proven track record in the field for at least one year. Charities should be Thoroughbred exclusive or dominant in their efforts.