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OCTOBER 27 WORLD THROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY AT BELMONT PARK TO BE DEDICATED TO FAMILIES OF VICTIMS AND EMERGENCY SERVICES PERSONNEL SLAIN IN TERRORIST ATTACK ON NEW YORK
NTRA/Breeders' Cup and New York Racing Association Lead Effort to Raise $1 Million for "New York Heroes Fund"
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Breeders' Cup Limited and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced today that the 18th running of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, scheduled for Oct. 27 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., will be dedicated to the families of New York firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel and other victims in the surrounding communities who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
A special fund of NTRA Charities will be established to receive contributions, all of which will be earmarked to assist the children and spouses of the slain firefighters, police officers, emergency workers and victims. A minimum goal of $1 million has been established for this program by the NTRA and NYRA.
NYRA and the NTRA will contribute a portion of each paid admission from the Breeders' Cup to the "NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund," along with a percentage of all other revenue in connection with the event, a day of eight championship races also known as the World Thoroughbred Championships, each televised by NBC in the United States and by other networks throughout the world.
The NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund also will be the recipient of all proceeds of the Breeders' Cup Charity Gala, scheduled for Oct. 26 in New York City.
In addition, officials indicated that all those involved in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships -- including owners, trainers, jockeys, racetracks and other simulcast partners, corporate sponsors and media partners -- will have opportunities to participate and contribute through voluntary programs to be announced in the near future.
"We want this year's Breeders' Cup in New York to have special meaning by honoring these true heroes and innocent victims, and by helping their families cope with this tragedy in some tangible fashion," said Breeders' Cup President and NTRA Vice Chairman D.G. Van Clief Jr.
"Our sport works every day with emergency personnel like the brave men and women who gave their lives this week," said New York Racing Association President Terence J. Meyocks. "In our particular case at NYRA, they and other victims are literally also our neighbors and, in many cases, our relatives or friends. It is entirely appropriate to dedicate racing's biggest day -- held this year in New York -- to their memories and to their families."
New York-based Bessemer Trust, an NTRA/Breeders' Cup sponsor, has agreed to establish and maintain a bank account for the special fund at no cost. Contributions can be sent to NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund, c/o Bessemer Trust Company N.A., attention Robert Elliott, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y., 10111. Wire-transferred funds can be sent to Bessemer Trust Company N.A., Federal Reserve Symbol, ABA# 0260-0875-6, user name: Bessemer Tr NYC-for account NTRA Charities.
Questions regarding the fund can be directed to the NTRA's Lexington office, (800) 792-6872.
Regular updates will be provided on pledges, contributions and other participation by the industry towards the goal of raising at least $1 million from all sources.
"The Breeders' Cup Charity Gala is expected itself to raise in excess of $100,000," said Van Clief. "In the past, owners have generously pledged a percentage of their winnings to worthwhile causes. With $13 million in Championship Day purses, 1% in contributions, for example, would raise another $130,000. The $1 million goal is ambitious, but we think attainable."
NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith said the association also would track what other member racetracks and industry groups are doing to raise charitable funds in response to the Sept. 11 attacks, and would act as a clearinghouse for this information.
Smith pointed to Keeneland's campaign to raise funds for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund in connection with the current Thoroughbred sales there as an example, along with Churchill Downs Incorporated's initiative to match all employee contributions, also to the Red Cross. Additional NTRA member tracks will be participating in fund-raisers in upcoming weeks.
The American Quarter Horse Association, Smith added, will conduct fund-raising events during its upcoming Racing Conference and MBNA America Challenge Championships taking place Oct. 20 at Los Alamitos Racecourse and will coordinate additional fund-raisers around major AQHA events in the future.
Updates will appear on the NTRA Web site, www.ntra.com, under the heading "Racing Responds," beginning early next week.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing awareness of Thoroughbred racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders' Cup Limited also conduct the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, and the Breeders' Cup National Stakes Program, both of which are funded by the industry's owners and breeders. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. A compendium of NTRA press releases appears on the NTRA Web site, ntra.com, and at the Web site for the Breeders' Cup Championship, breederscup.com. Contact the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Racing Responds - NY Heroes Fund updates
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