Pletchers Honored With Marylou Whitney Award For Commitment To The Backstretch Community

NYRTC Brunch | Skip Dickstein

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, along with his wife Tracy, received the Marylou Whitney Award from the New York Race Track Chaplaincy for their continuing devotion and support of the backstretch community at the organization's 16th annual fundraising brunch at the Saratoga National Golf Club, the organization said in a release Wednesday.

“I can't say enough about what the New York Race Track Chaplaincy organization does for the backstretch community,” Pletcher said. “It provides so much more than spiritual help. I look at it like the mayor's office where everyone goes when they need help. On behalf of Tracy and our children, thank you very much for this honor and for your support of the New York Racetrack Chaplaincy.”

As is the custom, the Pletchers were presented with a framed racing scene created by equine artist Tom Chapman from the New York Race Track Chaplaincy. In a surprise appearance, Pletcher's mentor, fellow Hall of Famer trainer D. Wayne Lukas, made the presentation.

“God blessed Todd with extraordinary talent and he has shown class, dignity and integrity throughout his career,” Lukas said. “In addition to their own family, Todd and Tracy have also adopted the backstretch family and they are most deserving of this honor.”

The brunch attracted a record crowd of approximately 350 individuals from all segments of the racing industry and included such supporters as Mandy Pope, Jo Ann and Paul Oreffice and Len Green.

Among those in attendance were: Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), NYS Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Agriculture and Markets Elizabeth Wolters, trainer Jena Antonucci and Hall of Famer riders Javier Castellano, Angel Cordero Jr., Edgar Prado, and John Velazquez. Liz Bishop, the longtime television news anchor for the CBS affiliate in Albany, once again served as emcee.

Previous honorees have included Andy Serling, Irad Ortiz Jr., Anne Campbell, Edgar Prado, Michael Dubb, Fay and David Donk, Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson, Letty and Kiaran McLaughlin, Lisa and Kenny Troutt, Debbie and Terry Finley and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.


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