TRF Annual Gala Raises More Than $500,000

Edited press release

Thanks in large part to the $58,000 celebrity chef Bobby Flay spent on options to breed to two of the top Thoroughbred stallions, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation raised an excess of $500,000 Aug. 7 at its annual gala at the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club.

The TRF is the nation's oldest and largest horse rescue operation. The funds raised Monday will go toward the care of the more than 1,300 retired race horses under the group's responsibility.

Throughout the night, options to breed in 2007 to some of the sport's hottest stallions at 2006 prices were put up for bids to the more than 450 people attending the party. Flay paid $47,000 for the right to breed to Distorted Humor  at his 2006 fee of $150,000 and $11,000 to breed to More Than Ready  at his 2006 fee of $30,000.

An option to breed to Maria's Mon at his 2006 fee of $25,000 brought $37,000 from Brookfield Bloodstock, and Jack Goldthorpe paid $35,000 for a Songandaprayer option at his 2006 fee of $35,000.

Lee Pokoik paid $35,000 for a trip to the 2007 Dubai World Cup, the sale-topper among the many unique experiences put up for bid. Peter Kizenko paid $25,000 to have his name appear as character in Jane Smiley's next novel.

New York Mets All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca was on hand to auction off the right to be on the field during Mets batting practice and to meet the team. That experience brought $12,000 from trainer Jimmy Jerkens. A private pitching clinic by New York Yankee announcer Jim Kaat and the chance to watch batting practice from the field at Yankee Stadium went for $11,000. The Yankee package was bought by Denali Stud's Craig Banderoff.

"It was an exciting night," said TRF executive director Diana Pikulksi. "There were lots of new supporters and lots of people we hadn't seen in a while in attendance. It's wonderful that with the increased awareness about the TRF and our mission, we are getting more and more support and acknowledgement for the important work we do from some of the biggest names in racing. We look forward to topping this again next year."

Below is a list of the prices paid for the right to bid to stallions at 2006 stud fees.

Stallion; 2006 fee; Price; Buyer:
Distorted Humor ; $150,000; $47,000; Bobby Flay
Dixie Union; $40,000; $20,000; Chester Broman
Jump Start ; $10,000; $11,000; John Oxley
Malibu Moon ; $30,000; $21,000; Bill Schivley
Maria's Mon; $25,000; $37,000; Brookfield Bloodstock
More Than Ready ; $30,000; $11,000; Bobby Flay
Officer; $15,000; $24,000; John Fulton
Songandaprayer; $35,000; $35,000; Jack Goldthorpe
Successful Appeal ; $25,000; $16,000; Bill Schivley
Thunder Gulch; $25,000; $25,000; Marlene Brody