The Blood-Horse recently reported that a $40,000 grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Trust will make it possible for Backstretch Employees Service Team (BEST), based at Belmont, to offer dental care to backstretch workers at Saratoga this summer. While BEST has for the past three years provided medical care, this is the first time that the organization will be able to offer dental care as well. You can donate to the good work that BEST does and learn more about the organization at their website, and read a fuller story about the grant here. One of BEST’s partners is West Point Thoroughbreds, owner of Saratoga Russell (see below).
In other backstretch news, the children at Anna House are learning about reptiles and amphibians, and they’ve recently acquired some classroom pets: a chameleon and a fire belly toad. The good folks at the Belmont Child Care Association recently sent me these pictures of the children’s lessons.
In racing news, Dave Grenig at the Daily Racing Form confirms what we’ve been told for a few weeks by Mr. Anonymous, that Saratoga Russell is coming up from Florida to run in this week’s Gotham. He’s going to face some tough competition, including Giant Moon and Visionaire, but this particular fan will be hoping that he’ll be as solid around two turns at the Big A as he was in his one-turn races in 2007. This date has been on my calendar for a while now, and with a little luck, this spring weather will last. A sure sign that spring isn’t so far away is the return of the 1:00 post time at Aqueduct—no more 12:30 starts!
I’ll get this week’s Take Ten! standings up as soon as they’re available over at ST Publishing. Not even The Bad Cat came through for me this week…and I’m happy to report that our collective donation is up to $110, which will be donated in the name of the winner to his/her racing charity of choice.