An auction held this week in Saratoga has raised better than $350,000 for the Thoroughbred Retirement Fund, which provides for the welfare of ex-racehorses. The auction-topper was a bid of $97,000 from John Oxley, owner of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, for a stallion season to Ashford stallion Thunder Gulch. Thunder Gulch is the sire of dual Classic winner Point Given, who defeated Monarchos in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
The next highest price in the auction was the $35,000 bid by New York owner Chester Broman for the rights to breed to Taylor Made sire Unbridled's Song.
A five-night trip to the 2002 Dubai World Cup was purchased by Gary Biszantz for $21,000, and Robert McNair bid $20,000 for a trip to the 2002 Triple Crown races.
"We are gratified that this evening has now become a regular stop on the Saratoga calendar," said Diana Pikulski, executive director of the TRF, "and that the issue of Thoroughbred retirement has moved from the back page to the front."
The TRF is the largest equine rescue organization in the world, and is wholly supported by donations from private individuals and from the racing industry. The money raised will be used to fund TRF operations in 10 states around the country.