TRF Saratoga Fundraiser Sets Record

Edited press release
With the horse racing industry responding to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's need to care for a rapidly increasing population of retirees--now numbering 1,037--the charity raised $629,000 at its annual fundraiser Monday night at the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Much of the money was raised through an auction of stallion season options in which bidders bid for the right to breed to a hot stallion in 2006 at 2005 prices. This year's total topped the previous record by more than $200,000.

"It's encouraging to see that people are listening and that people really care," said TRF executive director Diana Pikulski. "Additionally, as we spread the word about what we do and the number of horses in our care more people in racing are getting on board and supporting us.

"We are increasingly energized by the growing support and look forward to saving many more horses and getting the racing industry to provide regular support for its retired athletes," Pikulski said

The sale toppers, at $60,000 each, were stallion season options to Unbridled's Song and Distorted Humor , whose 4-year-old son Commentator won the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) two days prior to the fund-raiser.

The 2005 stud fee for Distorted Humor was $60,000, and $125,000 for Unbridled's Song.

Circle E Racing purchased the Unbridled's Song option and Briggs and Cromartie Bloodstock bought the Distorted Humor option. Briggs and Cromartie also purchased options to Smart Strike, Songandaprayer and Successful Appeal , spending a total of $160,000.

John Oxley paid $28,000 to breed to Northern Afleet , the sire of Afleet Alex, at the 2005 price of $12,500.

Founded in 1982, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides lifetime retirement for Thoroughbreds at farms and satellite facilities spread across the U.S. With the TRF increasing its efforts to save as many retirees as possible from an uncertain future, the group's horse population has more than doubled over the last three years. That has placed an increasing financial strain on the TRF, which is wholly dependant on outside donations.

Unique experiences unavailable to the general public were also on the auction block. The sale topper in this portion of the auction was the services of painter Leslie Priggen. She will be commissioned to do a painting for winning bidders David Moore and Lansdon Robbins, each of whom bid $25,000.

Terry Scatuorchio went to $14,000 for a cooking lesson from renowned chef Bobby Flay in the kitchen at his hit new Manhattan restaurant, Bar Americain. WinStar Farm's Doug Cauthen put in the winning bid of $14,000 to appear in a walk-on role in the hit HBO series, "Deadwood."

The following is a complete list of options and seasons auctioned Monday and the amounts paid for them and their buyers:

Options (farm fee):

Distorted Humor (at a fee of $60,000)--$60,000, Briggs and Cromartie Bloodstock

Forest Camp (at $15,000)--$20,000, Susan Moore

Hennessy (at $35,000)--$22,000 James Carter

More Than Ready  (at $30,000)--$17,000, John Oxley

Northern Afleet (at $12,500)--$28,000, John Oxley

Smart Strike (at $35,000)--$45,000, Briggs and Cromartie Bloodstock

Songandaprayer (at $10,000)--$35,000, Briggs and Cromartie Bloodstock

Successful Appeal (at $25,000)--$20,000, Briggs and Cromartie Bloodstock

Tiznow  (at $30,000)--$20,000, Tom Carey

Unbridled's Song (at $125,000)--$60,000, Circle E Racing

Stallion Seasons:

Congaree --$22,000, James Carter

Consolidator--$22,000, Peter Bradley