A 1.5% aftercare assessment will be added to all claims made on the New York Racing Association circuit starting with the July 11 Saratoga Race Course opener, NYRA and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) announced Friday. For example, an owner making a $50,000 claim will contribute an additional $750 towards aftercare. Funds will be allocated to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) and the TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program (TTL).
There is no sales tax applied to claims in New York state. As is standard practice, claims will be voided if the full amount including the aftercare assessment is not on account at the time of the claim.
In addition, existing owners’ aftercare contribution to the TAA will be increased from $5 to $10 per start.
“We believe these new directives will generate more than $450,000 in additional spending for an overall direct spend of over $1 million per year towards the valuable work being undertaken by those in our aftercare community,” said Joe Appelbaum, President of NYTHA. “Claiming horses are the blue-collar workers of our racing program, and it is fitting that we create a revenue stream for their aftercare from the robust economic activity generated by the nearly $25 million in claims at NYRA tracks every year.”
NYRA Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Martin Panza added, “As a TAA board member, I have learned that the horses that retire to TAA accredited facilities most often come through the claiming ranks. This initiative will further support the retirement and rehoming of these equine athletes.”
Trainer and NYTHA Aftercare Committee Chairman Rick Schosberg said, “Since we started in 2013, TAKE THE LEAD has retired more than 475 horses from the NYRA tracks to TAA-accredited facilities. While we help horses at every level, many come from the claiming ranks. It’s great to see New York’s horsemen at the forefront of a new initiative to raise our commitment to aftercare. This was an idea first floated by Rick Violette as a founding member of the TAA, and it’s appropriate that New York is the first to adopt it. Our hope is that this will become a national program.”