The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Breeders' Cup Ltd., and the New York Racing Association announced Friday that the 18th running of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, scheduled for Oct. 27 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., will be dedicated to the families of New York firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel and other victims in the surrounding communities who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
A special fund of NTRA Charities will be established to receive contributions, all of which will be earmarked to assist the children and spouses of the slain firefighters, police officers, emergency workers, and victims. A minimum goal of $1 million has been established for this program by the NTRA and NYRA.
NYRA and the NTRA will contribute a portion of each paid admission from the Breeders' Cup to the "NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund," along with a percentage of all other revenue in connection with the event, a day of eight championship races, each televised by NBC in the United States and by other networks throughout the world.
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.
In addition, officials indicated that all those involved in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships--including owners, trainers, jockeys, racetracks and other simulcast partners, corporate sponsors and media partners--will have opportunities to participate and contribute through voluntary programs to be announced in the near future.
"We want this year's Breeders' Cup in New York to have special meaning by honoring these true heroes and innocent victims, and by helping their families cope with this tragedy in some tangible fashion," said Breeders' Cup President and NTRA Vice Chairman D.G. Van Clief Jr.
"Our sport works every day with emergency personnel like the brave men and women who gave their lives this week," said NYRA president Terry Meyocks. "In our particular case at NYRA, they and other victims are literally also our neighbors and, in many cases, our relatives or friends. It is appropriate to dedicate racing's biggest day--held this year in New York--to their memories and to their families."
New York-based Bessemer Trust, a NTRA/Breeders' Cup sponsor, has agreed to establish and maintain a bank account for the special fund at no cost. Contributions can be sent to NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund, c/o Bessemer Trust Company N.A., attention Robert Elliott, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y., 10111. Wire-transferred funds can be sent to Bessemer Trust Company N.A., Federal Reserve Symbol, ABA# 0260-0875-6, user name: Bessemer Tr NYC-for account NTRA Charities.