backstretch workers

Abijah's on the Backside Changing Lives at Canterbury Park

While racing seems to be scrambling for any piece of positive public perception it comes across, Sally Jane Mixon has a vision. She wants to save the lives of people across the country, and she wants to do it by bringing them to the backsides of racetracks to work with retired racehorses. "Mental health is a huge crisis right now everywhere you go," Mixon said. "The hope is to bring people who maybe have a bad taste in their mouth for racing and they'll come and work with off-track Thoroughbreds...

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NY Chaplaincy, SUNY Empire State to Offer Access to Programs

SUNY Empire State College and the NY Race Track Chaplaincy have reached an agreement that will allow the chaplaincy and the people that they serve, including he backstretch community, jockeys, and trainers, as well as family members who reside in their households, to participate in SUNY Empire's corporate and community partner benefits program. The agreement will provide eligible participants with a $50 orientation fee waiver and one-time $100 Better Together Scholarship. The partnership will also allow the two groups to identify areas of training that may be evaluated for college-level...

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Racing Featured in HBO Sports Documentary

Level Playing Field, a sports documentary series featuring a range of stories that illuminate how public policies have contributed to inequities in the sports landscape, kicks off Sept. 14. Produced by Vox and Vox Media Studios, the series will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max. Included in the four-part series is "Down the Backstretch," which airs Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 8-8:30p.m. ET. The episode explores how the recent shift in United States immigration policy towards Central America impacted the horse racing industry. With laborers from Latin...

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KY Colonels Offer Grant to BGFC For Backstretch Kids

Blue Grass Farms Charities, Inc., (BGFC) received a $7,247 grant from the Honorable Order Kentucky Colonels (HOKC) to purchase 1,000 backpacks for farm and track workers' children--Kindergarten through Middle School--for the 2021 school year. In total, the HOKC will award $2.1 million in grants supporting 275 non-profits, impacting close to 3.7 million Kentuckians. "When HOKC Trustees met with grant applicants this year, we were reminded how hard the pandemic has made life harder for many folks, from first responders in community service charities to the clients themselves," said HOKC Commanding...

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22K Additional H-2B Visas Available for Second Half of Fiscal Year

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor issued a joint temporary final rule published Tuesday in the Federal Register that offers 22,000 additional H-2B visas to employers for the second half of the federal fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, 2021. The visas, used by employers such as racehorse trainers seeking seasonal guest workers, are capped at 66,000 annually, with an even split of 33,000 available for each half of the federal government's fiscal year. Six thousand of these supplemental visas will be reserved for nationals of...

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Woodbine to Host Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

Woodbine Entertainment will host a pop-up COVID-19 Vaccine clinic at Woodbine Racetrack, which is located in a 'hot spot', beginning Wednesday at 10 a.m. for the Rexdale Community. The vaccine clinic, which is supported by the North Etobicoke Community Cluster Partners, will operate for a minimum of three days and is open to individuals 18 years and older in 2021 and living in 'hot spot' communities in M9V and M9W. "We are very proud and grateful to be able to host this much needed pop-up clinic at Woodbine Racetrack for...

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Additional H-2B Visas Soon to be Available During Second Half of Federal Fiscal Year

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Labor have agreed to offer 22,000 additional H-2B visas to employers for the second half of the federal fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. These visas are used by employers, such as racehorse trainers, who seek seasonal guest workers. They are capped at 66,000 annually, with an even split of 33,000 available for each half of the federal government's fiscal year. The additional visas will be made available later this spring or early summer via a temporary final...

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Supporting families who support New York Thoroughbred Racing

by Michael Dubb. Editor's note: The following letter appeared in the March 28, 2021 print editions of the Saratogian and Troy Record, and is reprinted here with their permission. While the pandemic irrevocably changed each and every one of us, perhaps no one will be impacted more significantly in the long term than our children. Mental health and education experts are just starting to reckon with the fallout of this unprecedented "lost year", which resulted in remote learning and isolation from friends and extended family. Most experts agree, however, that...

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Woodbine Entertainment Gives Back to Backstretch Community

Woodbine Entertainment has announced a trio of initiatives designed to support the 130 people living on the backstretch at Woodbine Racetrack during the winter months. Woodbine has partnered with the Horses First Fund, which will sponsor a nutritious, hot meal each week. The program will start Wednesday, Dec. 23. The Horses First Fund assists Thoroughbreds and their caretakers in need of emergency aid due to large scale neglect, natural disaster, or other catastrophes. Horses First Fund founder Jaime Roth of LNJ Foxwoods said, "I was especially moved by the misfortune...

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Pies Donated to MJC Backstretch Workers and Food Bank

For the past 32 years, the Maryland Jockey Club has had a tradition of handing out free pies to its patrons during its Thanksgiving Day program. Along with live Thoroughbred racing at Laurel Park, fans would arrive in the morning to free cider, coffee and donuts, and leave with an apple or pumpkin pie. This year, with no fans in attendance for Thursday's live program, the Maryland Jockey Club didn't want to stop the tradition of giving away pies. So 1,500 pies were ordered as usual, with 500 going to...

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Keeneland and TCA Team on Sales Initiative to Help Essential Workers

Keeneland and Thoroughbred Charities of America have launched an initiative to provide September Yearling and November Breeding Stock Sales buyers the opportunity to make a voluntary contribution to TCA to assist our industry's backstretch and farm workers. The voluntary donation will be included in the buyers invoice and equate to .05% of the hammer price of their purchase. "This partnership with TCA reflects Keeneland's mission to support worthy causes, and during this time of great need it's even more important that we take care of our front-line heroes," Keeneland President...

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TVG to Share Pacific Classic Spotlight With CARMA, Donate 5,000 Facemasks to Backstretch Workers

Celebrating its 10th year as the title sponsor of the GI TVG Pacific Classic, TVG will shine this weekend's spotlight on one of the country's leading Thoroughbred aftercare organizations, California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), and will donate more than 5,000 face coverings to backstretch communities at its partner tracks in California, New Jersey, Kentucky and other states beginning this week, TVG announced Thursday. "As part of celebrating our 10th year as the title sponsor of the TVG Pacific Classic, we wanted to reaffirm our support of CARMA and the tremendous...

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