Five Nominated for White Horse Award

Five horse racing heroes have been selected as finalists for the Race Track Chaplaincy of America's first annual White Horse Award, will be presented Oct. 23. The winner will be announced at the White Horse Heroes Luncheon at the track's Seabiscuit Court.

The event will be hosted by TVG's Caton Bredar and Belmont Stakes winning trainer Elliott Walden. Pat Day, the winningest jockey in Breeders‚ Cup history with over $21 million, will be part of the presentation team along with Mark Victor Hansen, the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Hansen will present the four runner-ups with a special Chicken Soup for the Horse Lovers Soul Award and checks for $1,000.

The plan originally called for four finalists, but the voting was so close five were selected. The five receive all expense paid trips to the Breeders'Cup races courtesy of the Daily Racing Form. The winner will receive a $5,000 cash award and other prizes. Kenny Troutt, co-owner of WinStar Farm and the award's founder, will present to the winner a special limited edition white bronze White Horse Trophy.

Oak Tree Racing has designated the day as Santa Anita's White Horse Heroes Day. The award nominees and winner will present the trophy in the day's featured race, the White Horse Heroes Purse.

The nominees are groom Charlie McKay, who rescued at least six horses from the Woodbine Racetrack barn fire, NYRA assistant starter Fred Lewis, who pulled to safety another assistant trapped beneath an upside down thrashing horse, Leigh Gray, a Southern California veterinary technician, who rescued and placed 112 critically injured thoroughbreds, Central Florida farm worker, Mike McBride, who ignored warnings and led the trapped stallion, Reprized, from a Meadowbrook Farm barn fully engulfed in flames, and Roosevelt "Heavy" Robinson, a Philadelphia Park groom who pulled to safety an unconscious woman trapped in a burning automobile.

NBC racing analyst, Charslie Cantey, is hosting a video salute to backstretch heroes and TVG will broadcast the award presentation. RTCA Chaplains who serve at tracks operating that day will hold corresponding White Horse Heroes Luncheons where backstretch workers can watch live as their peers are honored at Santa Anita.