A Day At The Spa: Aug. 8, Breakfast of Champions

A Day At The Spa: Aug. 8, Breakfast of Champions

At 8:30 a.m., under Saratoga’s At The Rail Pavilion, the 2nd annual backside breakfast is underway. The brainchild of 12 women who were concerned over the conditions of the backside, the event raises funds for the New York Racetrack Chaplaincy. The testimony to the efforts of the non-profit organization is undeniable.

“Once the ladies heard what the chaplaincy does on the backstretch, they got really excited and inspired and decided to host this event,” says organizer Anne Campbell. “We all know the backstretch population is always at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to funding.”

In fact, two weeks before the meet opened, chaplain Humberto Chavez and wife Karen did not know if they would make it to Saratoga this year because of a lack of funding.

“In the past 10 years, the racing industry has done a great job taking care of the horses that compete, and that is all good,” says former trainer Elliott Walden of the national Race Track Chaplaincy. “What we do with the humans that work with these animals is behind, so I thank you all for being here, because that shows that this effort is starting to catch up.”

“If the chaplain weren’t here, racing would honestly have to close down,” Campbell remarks. “On the backside, they drive about two inches in their golf card before somebody stops them each time with a serious problem. RTCA New York president Nick Caras had 10 people sleeping with him on the floor of his little bitty house, and these were ten people here seeking employment who had no idea where to go. These are bottom line necessities, not frivolous stuff.”

The attendees enjoyed breakfast at the rail, supported a good cause, watched the horses work over the muddy surface. There aren’t many better ways to spend a morning.

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