Funds Would Go to Drug-Testing, Community Programs

Edited press release

Capital Play, one of four bidders for the New York Thoroughbred racing franchise, said June 7 it would funnel $45 million to equine and community programs over a 20-year period should it win the right to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga. 

The group said $35 million would go to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and $10 million to the Race Track Chaplaincy of America New York Division and various backstretch programs.

Some of the Cornell money would be used for a new equine drug-testing facility, an assistant director for the drug-testing program, and more research. In addition, the funds would allow for scholarships and research grants in equine sports medicine, equine locomotion and performance, and advanced degrees.

Capital Play president Karl O’Farrell said religion, health care, child care, recreation, and other programs are important elements in improving the lives of those working in the backstretch and bettering the structure of racing.

“New York deserves the best Thoroughbred horse racing in the World, and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the world’s leading centers of research, learning, and testing in the world of equine medicine,” O’Farrell said. “We at Capital Play are serious about putting horse racing at a new level, and we also recognize the importance of maintaining and enhancing the high ethical standards of racing.

“It is critical that whoever wins the right to operate these tracks invests in the health and success of the community at large, especially the workers and their families. It is imperative that health care, child care and religious programs are not only maintained, but they are enhanced so people are treated as people.”