Backside Learning Center

From TDN Look: While the Horses are Away

It's three days before Christmas, a time when most young Americans can be found lounging on the couch binging on Netflix and cookies, but Merlin Cano is busy on the backside of Churchill Downs. Most of the trainers have already packed up and headed for warmer climates. A few trucks roll by carrying used straw or unused hay, remnants of the hive of activity this backstretch was just a few weeks ago. All is quiet for now, but Merlin knows there is still much to be done. Merlin is a...

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Horse Owners Help Backside Workers Overcome the Digital Age

Edited Press Release Across the nation, communities have grappled with how to ensure that all community members have access to the internet and computers in order to complete schooling and access vital resources. In Louisville, over 20% of families lacked access to internet, including many of the workers and their families who work at Churchill Downs and surrounding racetracks.  Now, due to a generous donation to the Backside Learning Center from Wasabi Venture Stables Club members, many backside families will move closer towards digital equity. The Backside Learning Center (BLC)...

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Backside Learning Center Launches 'Purses for a Purpose' Program

The Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs is launching "Purses for a Purpose", a program to allow horse owners to pledge a portion of their horse's earnings to benefit backside workers and their families. "The backstretch community is a hugely important part of our sport, and we're more than happy to support it in any way we can," Brian DiDonato of Franklin Ave. Equine LLC, owner of Moonshine Dancing (Speightster) and Too Much Kandy (Kantharos), the first two horses to participate in Purses for a Purpose, said of his motivation...

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MyRacehorse to Donate Portion of May Proceeds to Backstretch Workers

MyRacehorse, the micro-shares ownership syndicate, has pledged to donate 10% of proceeds derived in the month of May to three charities which support backstretch workers: Backside Learning Center, Backstretch Employee Service Team, and the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation. "We knew we wanted to use our platform to raise funds to assist the backstretch workers during this difficult time, and by partnering with the three selected non-profits, we are thrilled to know the funds will be put in very capable hands and optimized to the fullest," said My Racehorse founder Michael...

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Backside Learning Center Working Overtime for Those Who Can't Work

For the team at the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs, this is normally their favorite time of year. Backstretch workers return home from working in warmer locations over the winter, families are reunited, and there's a general sense of community and solidarity. The Kentucky Derby is just a few weeks away and fundraising is in overdrive. But this year looks quite different. For starters, there is a much smaller community to serve. While the Backside Learning Center normally serves about 1,000 workers this time of year along with their...

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