Saratoga Aftercare Day Aug. 15

Down Broadway | courtesy Megan Uditis

The fourth annual New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day, hosted by the New York Racing Association, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, and New York Thoroughbred Breeders will be held Aug. 15 at Saratoga Race Course.

New York Aftercare Day showcases retired racehorses demonstrating the skills they've learned in second careers, and interviews with members of New York's aftercare community. The $125,000 Rick Violette Stakes, named for the late trainer and NYTHA President who spearheaded the creation of the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program and TAKE THE LEAD Retirement Program, will anchor the racing card.

Representatives of ACTT Naturally, Lucky Orphans, New Vocations, Old Friends at Cabin Creek, ReRun, Second Chance Thoroughbreds, Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga, and Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation will be on hand in the Community Booth behind the jockeys' quarters to talk about their efforts on behalf of New York's retired racehorses.

“All of the members of New York's racing industry, including, owners, trainers, breeders, jockeys, and racetrack management, are firmly committed to providing for our horses after they leave the track,” said TAKE THE LEAD President Rick Schosberg. “Collectively, we contribute more than $1.2 million a year to ensure they have the happy and healthy retirement they deserve. Aftercare Day is the perfect opportunity to showcase the success of our commitment.”

The event will be highlighted by the introduction of the Down Broadway Retired Racehorse of the Year Award. Named for the first horse retired through the TAKE THE LEAD Program back in 2013, the Down Broadway will feature nominations from the New York organizations that participate in Aftercare Day, with the winner to be decided by a vote of racing fans.

Schosberg, now himself retired from training, was Down Broadway's conditioner when the decision was made to transition the New York-bred to a second career. Winless in 10 races, the handsome gray gelding was retired through New Vocations back in 2013 and is now living his best life in Ohio.

“After several successful years as a dressage horse, he's living out in massive pastures at a friend's farm in northeastern Ohio,” said adopter Megan Uditis. “He's spoiled, so loved and happy as can be! He was by far my favorite to bring along, so sweet and kind, and he still is. He's happy to have his forever home with his pasture mates.”

The nominations for the Down Broadway Award will be announced in mid-July, with voters casting their ballots online for the retired racehorse of their choice. Wristbands for each nominee will be given away on Aftercare Day so that fans can show their support, and the winner will be honored after the first race.

“The winner's circle ceremony for Drafted last year was so popular, we wanted to find a way to celebrate one of our retired racehorses every year,” TAKE THE LEAD and NYTHA Executive Director Andy Belfiore explained. “Whether they were champions or never won a race, these horses have earned our love and respect, and we need to demonstrate that, not just on Aftercare Day, but every day.”

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