backstretch workers

New York Gaming Commission To Hold Hearing Over Asmussen's Payroll Practices; Threatens To Revoke His License

The New York Gaming Commission will hold a hearing Sept. 18 to look into whether or not Steve Asmussen's owner-trainer license should be revoked, the board said via a press release on Thursday. Asmussen has been accused on a number of occasions of violating federal labor laws by failing to pay his workforce overtime. Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Labor obtained a court order requiring Asmussen to pay $243,260 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages (for a total of $486,520) after its investigation found...

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Belmont Child Care Association To Host 10th Annual Spring Fling Hat Luncheon

The Belmont Child Care Association, Inc. (BCCA) will host its annual Spring Fling Hat Luncheon and Fashion Presentation on Thursday, June 6 at The Garden City Hotel, 45 7th St., Garden City, New York, the organization said in a release Friday. The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET with a cocktail reception featuring two-tiered raffles and a luxury silent auction, followed by a seated luncheon. This year's online silent auction will feature a 2025 Belmont Stakes package, which includes a private luxury box for five. Online bidding opens Monday,...

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TERF Awards BCCA $10K For Educational Purposes

The Thoroughbred Education and Research Fund (TERF) is awarding the Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA) $10,000 to be used for educational purposes. The mission of the BCCA is to 'provide a safe, supporting and adcademically inspiring environment' for the children of parents working in the backstretch areas of Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga Race Course. TERF has awarded funds to the BCCA over the last four years which were used to fund their early childhood education program. The BCCA early childhood education program encompasses a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math)-based...

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New Chaplain Hired At Churchill Downs

The Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy has named Pavel Urruchi as Churchill Downs's new chaplain, the track said in a release Wednesday morning. Originally from Lima, Peru, Urruchi has a B.A. in Religion, an M.A. in Divinity, and he is working on a Ph.D. in Applied Theology. Bilingual in Spanish and English, the new chaplain has served for the past five years at Turfway and Belterra Parks. "I am excited that Pavel has accepted this position, and I can assure you he is eager to build on the momentum of human...

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Backstretch Dinners Draw a Crowd in Saratoga

Sunday evening dinners have always been a hit among the many backstretch appreciation events that go on throughout the Saratoga race meet, but this summer the affair has become an ever bigger attraction now that Morrissey's Lounge and Bistro at the Adelphi Hotel is catering the weekly celebration. Every Sunday just before 6 p.m., upbeat music and savory smells reach Union Avenue as a crowd gathers at the Marylou Whitney Pavilion. With dozens of volunteers on hand, the vast smorgasbord of food remains open until 8:30 so that workers who...

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N.Y. Race Track Chaplaincy's Back-to-School Drive Begins

The N.Y. Race Track Chaplaincy has begun soliciting aid for their annual back-to-school drive, whereby they help the children of the backstretch community obtain needed supplies for the upcoming school year. With the help of donations from the industry, the Chaplaincy provides backpacks filled with the specific supplies needed for hundreds of students of the backstretch workers at Belmont, Aqueduct, and Saratoga.   During the backpack distribution, they also provide free first-day-of-school haircuts, distribute free clothing, and even provide ice cream for everyone in order to provide a fun, relaxing,...

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Florida Trainers Sure to Feel Impact of Draconian New Immigration Law

Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into state law the self-described "strongest anti-illegal immigration legislation in the country." Under the new statute--the bulk of which goes into effect on July 1--business owners with 25 or more employees must use E-Verify to confirm the immigration status of new hires, and be subjected to enforceable penalties for employing undocumented workers, as well as stricter penalties for sending undocumented workers across state lines to work in Florida, among other provisions. When enforced, the new stringent laws are highly likely to impact everyone...

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Backside Learning Center's Derby Social Draws a Crowd

It was a packed house at the Louisville Thoroughbred Society on Tuesday, April 18 for the Backside Learning Center's Derby Handicapping Social. The sold-out event drew a crowd of racing owners and enthusiasts looking forward to spending an evening  narrowing down their picks for this year's GI Kentucky Derby while also learning more about the latest initiatives going on at the Backside Learning Center (BLC). The BLC is a nonprofit organization based in Louisville that provides support and resources for racetrack workers and their families. The organization serves over 1,000...

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Turfway Park to Remain Open for Year-Round Training

Following the close of the Winter/Spring Meet at Turfway Park Apr. 1, the barn area and racetrack will remain open for year-round training and stabling, it was announced Tuesday.  Trainers wishing to fill out a stall application can visit or contact Peggy Pate at [email protected]. Stall applications are due by Mar. 24. This year, Turfway Park finished construction on a new dormitory for backstretch workers and five new barns. The track can stable approximately 1,000 horses.      Local trainers expected to remain stabled at Turfway Park and race on the Kentucky circuit...

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Pletchers To Be Honored By NYRTC

The New York Race Track Chaplaincy (NYRTC) will honor Tracy and Todd Pletcher for their generous and continued support of the New York backstretch community at its 16th Annual Fundraising Brunch, which will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at the Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs, New York. "This honor means the world to Tracy and to me," said Todd Pletcher. "Our record reflects a team effort and the members of the backstretch are key members of our team. The New York Chaplaincy does great work serving those...

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From Blazing Trails to Changing Lives

Long before Shannon Arvin made headlines as the first female president and CEO of Keeneland and Jessica Paquette was named the first female full-time announcer at a major racetrack, Jenine Sahadi was breaking barriers as the first female trainer to win the Breeders' Cup. However, unlike the others, Sahadi made her mark and stepped away at the peak of her career. She now devotes herself to making a difference on the backstretch as the president of the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation. More than two decades into her time with the...

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Kentucky Chaplaincy Looking Forward to Race for Grace

The Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy will host their 20th annual Race for Grace, a dinner and fundraising event to support the ongoing work of the chaplaincy, on Monday, May 2 at 6:00pm. As a kickoff to Kentucky Derby week, the event will be held on Millionaires' Row in the clubhouse at Churchill Downs. Nationally-recognized pastor Bob Russell will be the keynote speaker of the event and Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day will be the Master of Ceremonies. "20 years ago, we said let's do this thing called the Race...

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