NYRA Announces New Backstretch Healthcare Clinic at Saratoga

Officials at NYRA Cares and Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.) announced that a new healthcare clinic will be built at Saratoga Race Course and is due to open in 2023. As a tribute to his late wife, Marylou Whitney, philanthropist John Hendrickson is funding construction of the new clinic, which will replace a double wide trailer that has housed on-site healthcare services at the track. The new clinic will provide a dramatically improved experience for those receiving primary and emergency healthcare services at Saratoga Race Course, which will be provided...

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New Home Will Fulfill Long-Running Dream for NY Race Track Chaplaincy

Feature courtesy of the New York Racing Association From the desk of his cramped office at the New York division of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (NYRTCA) on Belmont Park's backstretch, Chaplain Humberto Chavez can gaze out the window at what he calls, "something we've been planning for and dreaming of for years." Directly north of the NYRTCA's current office, a team of New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) carpenters, electricians and plumbers are at work constructing the Chaplaincy's new 3,500-square-foot building, which will double the Chaplaincy's current space...

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McIngvale, Dunkin' Make 'Runhappy' Donations to B.E.S.T.

James "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, owner of champion sprinter Runhappy, donated 30 dozen "Runhappy donuts" to the Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T) in advance of Saturday's Runhappy GI Travers S. at Saratoga. Dunkin' also contributed 750 gift cards to the backstretch community Thursday. Last season, McIngvale distributed treats to fans waiting in line in the early morning hours on Travers Day. The Runhappy Travers will be carried live on FOX as part of a special 90-minute broadcast beginning at 5 p.m. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit www.NYRA.com/SaratogaLive.

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Marylou Whitney Auction to Benefit Saratoga Backstretch Clinic

The Marylou Whitney Collection Auction, benefitting The Saratoga Backstretch Clinic, will kick off at midnight, Monday, July 27 and continues through Saratoga's Whitney Day, Saturday, Aug. 1, at 11:59 pm. The auction benefits the new building that will be the future home of the backstretch medical clinic operated at Saratoga Race Course by Saratoga Hospital and the Backstretch Employee Service Team. Included among the personal remembrances of the philanthropic icon known as the 'Queen of Saratoga' is a 1992 Jaguar XJS Convertible in British Racing Green with tan leather interior,...

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United Way Donating Over $30K in Gift Cards to Belmont Backstretch Workers

Backstretch workers at Belmont Park will soon receive some relief in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in the form of $50 gift cards donated by United Way of Long Island. The cards, which total more than $30,000 in value, will be distributed to all backstretch workers by members of the Backstretch Employee Service Team of New York (B.E.S.T.) and the Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA). This gift expands a program that kicked off earlier this month in which backstretch workers completing quarantine received gift cards, courtesy of United Way...

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B.E.S.T. Seeking Additional Donations to Support Backstretch Workers

The Backstretch Employee Service Team of New York, which operates the B.E.S.T. Health Center located on the Belmont Park backstretch, is seeking additional donations in support of its efforts to assist the local racing community during the coronavirus pandemic. Donations can be made here. B.E.S.T. is tasked with providing backstretch workers free health care, life insurance, drug and mental health counselling, as well as food and clothing. It is funded by the New York Racing Association, Inc. and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, along with public donations and grants...

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Six People On Belmont Backstretch Have Tested Positive for COVID-19

The number of individuals who work on the Belmont backstretch and have tested positive for coronavirus has risen to six. On Mar. 19, NYRA confirmed that a backstretch employee had tested positive and, according to NYRA Communications Director Patrick McKenna, five more racetrack workers at Belmont have tested positive since that time. After the first case of the virus was found, NYRA announced that live racing at Aqueduct had been postponed indefinitely. On Wednesday, NYRA announced that live racing was suspended through at least Apr. 5. With the latest outbreak,...

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Today's Good News: B.E.S.T. Supporting NYRA's Backstretch Community

In every crisis, it's possible to find examples of kindness and generosity, of people reaching out to help total strangers out of the goodness of their heart. To focus attention on the many people in the industry who have stepped forward to help those who have been impacted by the coronavirus, the TDN has launched a series that we hope will put a smile on your face during these difficult times. We'll do our best to bring you a little bit of good news every day. The importance of the...

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