The folks at Backstretch Employee Service Team contacted me today to say that NYRA has donated 5,000 Curlin t-shirts to BEST for sale at the races today. Here’s hoping that all 5,000 sell for their low, low price of $5, netting BEST $25,000. BEST provides a variety of services, including medical and dental care, to the backstretch workers free of charge. I learned today that while BEST has a stable (I know, bad pun) of volunteers in Saratoga, the volunteer corps down here is scanter, so if you’re looking for some good work to do, please consider giving BEST a call. T-shirts will be sold on the walkway just behind the building, between the grandstand/clubhouse and the backyard/paddock area, beginning at 10:30 am.
Received this photo a few days ago from Anna House at the Belmont Child Care Association, of the children playing on the Lemon Drop Kid Playground during their Cultural Olympics.
The NYRA website shares the good news that Jess Jackson’s Curlin for Kids charity is donating $100,000 to Anna House:
“Curlin has had much success in New York both in Saratoga and Belmont so it is
fitting that we should make a donation to Anna House on the day he attempts to
make history. His success on the track as helped education and children’s
charities throughout America,” said [Jess Jackson’s wife and Curlin part owner
Barbara] Banke, who is also a successful attorney. “Even though Jess is an only
child, family has always been a priority in his life. Our children are very
important to us, and we are so grateful to have a horse like Curlin that can
help make a difference in the lives of children where he races but especially
for the backstretch workers in New York.”
And finally, word recently from Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which raises money to fight childhood cancer. In 2000, four year old cancer patient Alexandra Scott decided that she wanted to have a lemonade sale to raise money to help kids with cancer; for four years, until her death at age eight, Alex and her family held an annual lemonade sale to raise money for childhood cancer research. In 2005, the connections of Afleet Alex linked their star colt to this charity, bringing it to national attention when more than 1,100 Alex’s Lemonade Stands were put up on Belmont Stakes Day around the country.
In January, Tim Ritchey and Cash is King Racing Stable will be honored at the third annual Lemon Ball to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Afleet Alex captured the nation’s imagination in a way that few horses have done since, and it would be great if some of his many fans could show up to support this cause.
I’ll be spending the day at soggy Belmont, in hopes that no bad weather can dampen a terrific day of racing.