Saturday morning quick picks, on charities and horses

It’s not surprising that as the holidays and end of year get closer, various charities are reminding us about donations. So if you’re looking for a way to help this holiday season, and get that 2008 tax deduction, I offer the following for your consideration:

As I wrote recently, the Belmont Child Care Association is planning for its annual holiday party, at which the children of the backstretch workers get to choose gifts to give to their families. You can donate items or cash that will be used to purchase gifts for the children to give. Right now, particular needs are men’s items and teenage items. Gift cards are also popular, and I hear that Dunkin Donuts gift cards are a particular hit!

The Race Track Chaplaincy is seeking donations of food for the backstretch workers’ Thanksgiving dinner. You can donate food or supermarket gift cards which will be used to purchase the fixings for the dinner. More information here.

Two equine retirement organizations are holding auctions to raise money. The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has an online store to which you can click from the main website, and it will be holding an online auction beginning December 1st. Please visit if you’d like to donate an item or service to be auctioned, or if you’d like to buy.

The newsletters from Old Friends are a welcome arrival in my e-mail box, full of news and anecdotes and updates. You can sign up to receive them at the Old Friends site. Some recent tidbits, this one from the October newsletter:

Mike Moreno of Southern Equine purchased the majestic Parrish Hill Farm in
Midway and donated one of its most famous barns to Old Friends. It’s the barn
where Princess Rooney and Charismatic resided as foals and eventual Hall of Fame
trainer Woody Stephens started his career as a teenaged exercise rider. Together
with George Gatewood of Longwood Antique Woods, Mr. Moreno authorized his staff to dismantle the interior stalls and deliver them to Old Friends. The exterior
barn, due to its aged physical condition, could not be moved. Mr. Moreno is
absorbing costs for the removal and re-location. Teamwork.In the spring, Old
Friends will raise additional funds to re-create the Parrish Hill barn and
re-erect the stalls. This will become our long anticipated museum to house many
artifacts including Charlie Whittingham’s Ferdinand jacket, Precisionist’s
racing papers and dozens of other racing items with historical value.

From this week’s update:

It’s obvious that in the current economic climate times, as the saying goes, are
tough. Grants and donations from Trusts that we’ve counted on in the past have
shrunk or disappeared. But Old Friends is always been dependent on visitors and
racing fans for the bulk of our support. People that really understand how
important it is to support these great Thoroughbreds in retirement regardless of
the donor’s economic status. So, here’s a suggestion. If everyone who toured Old
Friends this year sent a donation of $5 or $10, our future would be more secure.
As you know, we don’t charge for tours…and don’t want to…but, on behalf of
our retirees, we do need money to support them.

You can support Old Friends by donating or shopping at the online auction and gift shop.

Another way to give to a non-profit, though admittedly with a little more self-interest in mind, is to bet into today’s Pick 6 carryover at Aqueduct. How many is that since the meet opened just a couple of weeks ago?

In other random racing news, the alliterative Brooklyn Backstretch favorite Be Bullish comes back today, after winning an optional claimer two weeks ago.

And if you missed seeing Evening Attire’s memory book from his retirement party at the end of October, you can read some of the fan letters here.

Here’s to a good, safe, profitable day at the races…the more you win, the more you can donate to worthy causes!

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