"We are eternally grateful for the support this event receives from the commercial thoroughbred industry," said TRF Executive Director Diana Pikulski. "Their enthusiasm for this fundraiser and underlying concern for the welfare of the animals have helped this organization and the overall cause of thoroughbred retirement gain a momentum which gives us the opportunity to offer more home to retired racehorses each year."
The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation raised a record $325,000 Monday evening at a dinner auction at the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The single highest-ticket item at the auction was a breeding right to Our Emblem at his 2002 fee of $7,500--that brought a $55,000 bid. Among the other breeding rights auctioned were an option to breed to Elusive Quality for $10,000, which was purchased by Eugene Melnyk for $23,000, and an option to breed to Came Home for $30,000 live foal upon his retirement, bought by Mike Ryan for $28,000. The auction also offered a trip to the 2003 Dubai World Cup, which brought $24,000 from Joe Iracane; a trip to the Arc de Triomphe brought $20,000 from Gary Biszantz; a future painting of a horse by Leslie Priggin brought $14,000 from Landsdon Robbins; three days of golf at the Bighor Championship Golf Courses went to Dr. Michael Chovanes for $12,000; and Lee Pokoik will have chef Bobby Flay cook his Travers Day brunch before he heads to the track to watch the races from the Darby Dan Farms box (for $10,000).