(edited from NTRA Press Release)
Racetracks and horsemen's organizations from around the United States will participate in the NTRA's "Racing to the Rescue Day" Oct. 8 to provide financial relief to members of the horseracing and breeding community who have been affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.The Racing to the Rescue Fund, a special division of the NTRA's nonprofit 501 (c) (3) subsidiary NTRA Charities, has been established to receive all contributions, 100% of which will be passed on to existing charities established to aid in recovery efforts. Racetracks and horsemen will establish on-site donation centers Oct. 8 where people may make contributions. Participating facilities include: Arlington Park, Bay Meadows, Calder Race Course, CDI Twin Spires Club, Churchill Downs, Colonial Downs, Delaware Park, Ellis Park, Hastings Race Course, Hollywood Park, Hoosier Park, Keeneland Race Course, Maryland Jockey Club, Mohegan Sun Casino, Mountaineer Park, Nebraska HBPA, New England HBPA, Northfield Park, Pocono Downs, Suffolk Downs and Turfway Park. Many other racing organizations, including Philadelphia Park, Oak Tree at Santa Anita, Del Mar, and others, have previously held fundraisers to benefit hurricane victims. In addition, other industry organizations have agreed to designate Oct. 8 as "Racing to the Rescue Day:"The Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA); Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association; all Thoroughbred Racing Associations member tracks; the national Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association; American Quarter Horse Association; Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association; Thoroughbred Owners of California; The Jockey Club; Oak Tree Racing Association; Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; Television Games Network; all Harness Tracks of America member racetracks; and the United States Trotting Association."We call on every member of our industry and our fans to assist members of the Gulf Coast horse communities and their animals in their time of need," said NTRA Commissioner and Breeders' Cup President D.G. Van Clief Jr. "We welcome these opportunities to raise funds for hurricane victims and, in particular, those within our own industry who have been impacted."On Oct. 8, a host of important Breeders' Cup prep races will take place at Belmont Park, Keeneland, Oak Tree at Santa Anita and elsewhere. NBC will televise a live, 90-minute program that day featuring four of these major stakes and serving as a national outlet for information surrounding the industry's relief efforts. The NTRA has previously announced that the 2005 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, to be run at Belmont Park, will serve as an additional platform to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Jockeys, trainers, breeders, and owners will be encouraged to contribute a percentage of their purse winnings on Breeders' Cup Day to the fund. The 2001 Breeders' Cup, also at Belmont, was used to raise funds in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. New York-based Bessemer Trust, an NTRA/Breeders' Cup sponsor, has agreed to establish and maintain an account for the NTRA Charities Racing to the Rescue Fund at no cost. Contributions can be made immediately via mail to: NTRA Charities Racing to the Rescue Fund, c/o Bessemer Trust Company N.A., attention Robert Elliott, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y., 10111. Wire-transferred funds can be sent to Bessemer Trust Company N.A., Federal Reserve Symbol, ABA# 0260-0875-6, user name: Bessemer Trust NYC-for account NTRA Charities, Inc.-Racing to the Rescue Fund. All contributions are tax deductible. Questions regarding the fund can be directed to the NTRA's Lexington office, (800) 792-NTRA (6872).