New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America

Nominations Open for White Horse Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the Race Track Chaplaincy of America's White Horse Award, which honors individuals who have done something heroic on behalf of human or horse in the past year. This year's White Horse Award winner will be honored by a special video presentation at the Race Track Chaplaincy's Nov. 2 event in the Silks Lawn Chalet at Keeneland. To submit a nomination for the White Horse Award, visit for a complete list of rules and selection criteria, as well as nomination forms. The deadline for...

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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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'Champions Talk' to Feature Five Champion Jockeys

The New York Race Track Chaplaincy announced the 2021 renewal of its Champions Talk fundraiser will feature five retired champion jockeys--Ángel Cordero Jr., Chris McCarron, Richard Migliore, Laffit Pincay Jr. and Jorge Velasquez. The quintet won over 34,000 races. The fundraiser will premiere on the organization's YouTube Channel and Facebook page Aug. 11, 2021. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., a three-time Eclipse award winner, will also be honored in recognition of his dedication and support of the backstretch community in New York. Durkin, the former New York Racing Association announcer, will...

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Noms Open for RTCA White Horse Awards

Nominations are now open for The Race Track Chaplaincy of America White Horse Awards, which will be held Breeders' Cup week, Thursday, Nov. 5 via Facebook Live. The White Horse Award is given to individual(s) who have done something heroic on behalf of human or horse. The Community Service Award is given to individual (s) who have made significant contributions to the welfare of racetrack chaplaincy ministries. To nominate for The White Horse Award, click here. To nominate for The Community Service Award, click here. For more information, visit

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Saratoga 'Champions Talk' Event to Benefit NY Race Track Chaplaincy

With its two annual fundraising events in Saratoga Springs, NY cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Race Track Chaplaincy will instead host "Champions Talk", an event featuring five prominent personalities from the world of sports and horse racing, which will premiere Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. ET. The five individuals are Hall of Fame jockeys Angel Cordero Jr. and Ramon Dominguez, GI Kentucky Derby-winning owner Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds, Churchill Downs's all-time leading trainer Dale Romans and Pro Football Hall of Fame and two-time...

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NY Race Track Chaplaincy Campaign A Necessary Success

When the New York Racing Association announced Mar. 25 that racing would be suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps no lives were affected as much as those of the New York backstretch workers. The New York Race Track Chaplaincy, which has been dedicated to supporting and ministering to the needs of this community for over 30 years, jumped into action. They began a campaign to help the 3,500 people who were suddenly without their normal wage deal with the challenges that resulted from the pandemic, asking for help in...

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T-Shirt Sales to Support NYRA Backstretch Workers

The sale of new t-shirts with the slogans "Belmont Tough" and "Saratoga Tough" will be used to raise funds for the New York Racing Association backstretch community during the COVID-19 pandemic. NYRA will donate all net proceeds from t-shirt sales in equal allotments to three non-profit organizations which serve the Belmont Park backstretch community: the Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA); the Backstretch Employee Service Team of New York (B.E.S.T.); and the New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America (NYRTCA). "The backstretch workers are the unsung heroes of our sport," said...

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Chaplain Humberto Chavez Says Thanks

Editor's note: Last week, the TDN ran a video urging people to donate to the New York Race Track Chaplaincy food pantry, which helps to provide food for the roughly 3,500 people who work with racehorses in New York. It has been viewed over 10,000 times, and the response has been heartwarming. Chaplain Humberto Chavez asked for the opportunity to say thank you. He recorded this podcast with the TDN's Patty Wolfe. Excerpts appear below. Click the play button to hear this as a podcast.  [audio mp3=""][/audio] PW: This has...

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Share a 'Basket of Blessings' to Support Belmont Backstretch Workers

The New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America (NYRTCA) is asking for support to provide woman living and working on the Belmont Park backstretch and the surrounding community with 'Baskets of Blessings' this coming Mother's Day. A donation of $100 will fund a special basket which will be lovingly prepared and include an assortment of food, toiletries, and special gifts. Each basket will be hand-delivered by the NYRTCA ahead of Mother's Day, Sunday, May 10. "The mothers of our backstretch community have perhaps been most impacted by the current crisis,...

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NY Racetrack Chaplain Humberto Chavez Wants To Say Thanks

"There's still a lot of anxiety," says Chaplain Humberto Chavez, whose ministry helps thousands of backstretch workers every day. "But in the midst of that, I get to see men and women that love their jobs, and come in every day to take care of these beautiful horses."

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New York Race Track Chaplaincy Launches Matching Gift Campaign for Food Pantry

The New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America has launched a matching gift drive for its food pantry that will benefit backstretch workers at Belmont Park as they deal with the many challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Donations to the food pantry made between now and June 6 will be matched up to $25,000 by a member of the New York Racing Association (NYRA) Board of Directors. That gives the Chaplaincy the potential to raise up to $50,000 for its pantry, one of the few in the area...

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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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