New York Riders Continue TRF Donations

Jockeys at NYRA racetracks contributed almost $6,000 this year, the TRF said.

The New York Racing Association jockey colony has donated almost $6,000 to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation in 2013, the organization said Dec. 23.

The jockeys, who ride at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course, donated $1 per mount to the TRF this year, continuing a tradition that began in 2009.

Though many jockeys also contribute privately to the TRF, the combined donation directly benefits the organization's Second Chances Farm at the Wallkill Correctional Facility, the TRF said. Wallkill will celebrate its 30th anniversary next summer.

The farm pairs ex-racehorses in need of a home with non-violent inmates in need of a vocation. The program is designed to teach inmates responsibility, the basics of horse care, and stable management.

"Through this program, the New York jockeys have provided much- needed support to the horses at our Wallkill facility," TRF vice president of external affairs Diana Pikulski said. "And the jockeys have ridden many of these horses. It is an important relationship for us, and we deeply appreciate the jockeys' commitment to TRF."

"These wonderful animals have made a living for a lot of us," said Javier Castellano, who recently set the North American single-season earnings record of more than $25.65 million. "I am very blessed for all that the horses have given me. This program is a chance for all of the jockeys to be able to give back to the horses."