Adena Springs Farm owner Frank Stronach has been selected to receive the inaugural Earle I. Mack Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Champion Award for “his dedication to improving the welfare and safety of Thoroughbred horses during and after their racing careers,” according to an announcement from TRF.
Stronach will be honored Aug. 7 during the TRF Saratoga Gala at the Saratoga City Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The award, which will be presented annually, was endowed by Earle Mack, a Thoroughbred owner and philanthropist who was appointed U.S. ambassador to Finland in 2004 by President George W, Bush.
“We are extremely grateful to Ambassador Mack for endowing this award recognizing significant contributions to our sport and to the welfare of the Thoroughbred, and are particularly pleased to be presenting the inaugural award to Mr. Stronach,” TRF president George Grayson said in a statement.
Stronach is a five-time Eclipse Award winning breeder and four-time Eclipse winning owner. Adena Springs has been Thoroughbred racing’s leading individual breeder in North America for eight consecutive years.
Stronach is also chairman and chief executive officer of MI Developments Inc., which operates Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino, Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, and the Maryland Jockey Club.
According to TRF, Stronach’s efforts on behalf of equine retirement include creating the first in-house retirement program at Adena Springs, in 2004, and initiating the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After Racing Program, with matching funds donated by the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.
He most recently announced the formation of Santa Anita’s After-Care Program, which will help match horses with owners who will make a lifelong commitment to their health, safety, and well being. Stronach said Santa Anita would support the After-Care Program by matching the money currently taken from purses (one-third of 1%) at Santa Anita. The money will be distributed to retirement programs throughout California by the California Retirement Management Account.
“Frank Stronach has been a proactive leader in his long-standing efforts to provide humane and safe retirements for our sport’s retirees,” Mack said. “His time, influence, and philanthropic endeavors have deservingly made him an outstanding individual in our industry. He is leading the way toward a solution of this and other important issues we face today.
"Our industry needs more pacesetters like Frank Stronach to step forward. I am proud that he will be the first recipient of the Earle I. Mack Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Champion Award, and cannot think of a more deserving honoree.”