Due to a flood of early, generous contributions, the NTRA, Breeders' Cup Limited, and the New York Racing Association announced Friday it was doubling its goal for the NTRA Charities -- New York Heroes Fund to $2 million. The Heroes Fund, set up by the organizations a week ago, will aid the families of New York firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel, and other victims who perished in the terrorist attacks on New York Sept. 11.
Since being established, the fund has received pledges from Harry Mangurian ($1 million), Coolmore, Michael Tabor, jockey Michael Kinane, and trainer Aidan O'Brien (10% of potential winning in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships), Tracy Farmer (5% of potential winnings by Albert the Great in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Breeders' Cup Classic), the Meadowlands/New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority (Meadowland Cup proceeds) Thoroughbred Charities of America ($50,000), Los Alamitos Racecourse ($20,000), and others.
"Based on these leadership commitments, we know our original goal has already been exceeded," said Breeder's Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr.
The NTRA also announced that a live auction at the Breeders' Cup Charity Ball Oct. 26 will be enhanced and will replace previously scheduled entertainment. Proceeds from the gala will go to the fund.
The World Thoroughbred Championships will be dedicated to the memory of those slain and to their survivors. NTRA and NYRA will contribute a portion of each paid admission from the Breeders' Cup to the Heroes Fund, along with a percentage of other revenue in connection with the event.
"Our neighboring communities were particularly hard-hit by this tragedy," said NYRA president Terry Meyocks, "and we want to offer as much assistance as possible. The initial response has been tremendous, and we strongly support increasing the original goal."
NTRA commissioner Tim Smith added, "All parts of the sport and industry from all parts of the country, and the world, are contributing to various relief efforts at impressive and gratifying levels. Counting Keeneland's campaign for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund, Sheikh Mohammed's generous $5 million contribution, and our own efforts with NYRA, plus many other like the Maryland racetrack, horsemen, and breeder coalition to benefit Pentagon attack victims, the sport and business of horseracing likely will contribute at least $8 million in total. And that number is growing."