John C. Oxley, who with wife Debby has a pair of Triple Crown candidates in Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos and graded stakes-placed Hero's Tribute, announced that 1% of money either colt wins through victories in grade I races through the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will be earmarked for the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. The donations are retroactive to the Florida Derby, in which Monarchos earned $600,000 (which provided $6,000 to the foundation).
Monarchos is expected to prep for the Derby in the grade II Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct on April 14, the same day Hero's Tribute is scheduled to run in the grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, a $750,000 race. The Derby is a $1-million guaranteed race whose winner's share, including late nomination fees, exceeded $1 million in 2000.
"My wife Debby and I realize how fortunate we are to have two Derby contenders at the moment, so we are pleased to direct a share of that good fortune for the benefit of all horses," said Oxley.
Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is the leading private source of funding for research to enhance the health and safety of horses. In the last two decades, the foundation has contributed $9 million to more
than two dozen universities to underwrite more than 160 specific projects. Benefits to the horse industry from past Grayson-Jockey Club sponsored research include development of vaccines against virus abortion, equine influenza, and equine viral arteritis; significant understanding of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM); and ongoing improvements in protecting soundness, fertility, etc.
"This is a very generous pledge, which underscores Thoroughbred owners' concern for the welfare of horses," said Foundation president Edward L. Bowen. "We were fortunate enough to benefit from a similar pledge from the owners of 1994 Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin, and we wish the Oxleys continued success as well."