A $94,300 grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust will enable the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame to begin operation of its race horse simulator exhibit this year.Plans call for the interactive program to open to the public in July, prior to the start of the 2006 meet at Saratoga Race Course. The computerized exhibit will give visitors an opportunity to ride a specially designed mechanized horse, originally developed to train jockeys in Europe, while seeing synchronized video clips. The fundraising project for the simulator took a significant step forward on Sept. 9, 2005 when Assemblyman Jim Tedisco of Schenectady presented a $20,000 state grant to Museum Director Peter Hammell.The Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust was established following Mr. Solomon's death at the age of 104 on Sept. 4, 2004. Co-trustees Robert E. Ingmire and Harry D. Snyder approved the grant request from the Museum."We were impressed by the fact that this is going to be an interactive exhibit, which we think will attract a different type of audience, like family groups. People can get up on the horse and see what it's like," Snyder said. "We thought it was something that kind of jumped off the paper at us because of its interactive component." During his life, Solomon was a generous supporter of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. His estate included a $1 million gift to the facility, which is located across Union Avenue from historic Saratoga Race Course. The Saratoga Silks gift shop at the Museum is dedicated to Solomon and his wife Nancy.
"Alfred was particularly fond of the Racing Museum and he seldom missed any event throughout the year," Snyder said. "I'd say when he was about 103 years old he was at the annual ball, out on the dance floor."