Welcome to year eight of the Brooklyn Backstretch Kentucky Derby charity league!
We had a banner year in 2015, raising more than $3,000 for racing charities across the country. For the first time, we were able to award donation money to the top three finishers, resulting in an impressive breadth and number of organizations that received contributions.
Kay Marie Patterson, our California-based winner, chose Harmony and Hope Horse Haven (Thoroughbred Charities Charity of the Month for April 2015); Neigh Savers; Remember Me Rescue; and The Moore Foundation (which funds the care and feeding of the cats that live year-round at the Oklahoma training facility in Saratoga) as the recipients of her donations. She also donated some of her own money to the care and feeding of the Belmont backstretch cats.
Third-place finisher Gene Kershner chose Thorofan.
Over the seven years we’ve done this, we’ve raised more than $7,000 for racing charities; past recipients include Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Days’ End Horse Rescue, Our Mims, Old Friends at Cabin Creek, and ReRun.
Back when we started, I pledged $75 to the charity of the winner’s choice. Quickly, pledges and donations from participants followed, in impressive, generous amounts. As always, there’s no entry fee to play, but donations are very welcome, in any amount.
Every dollar donated goes straight to the charities, and information on pledging can be found below.
Here’s how it works:
Select a fantasy stable consisting of 12 Triple Crown-nominated 3-year-old horses. Horses earn points with top-4 finishes in official Kentucky Derby qualifying races, racing in the Kentucky Derby, and a top-5 finish in the Kentucky Derby.
Points will be allocated according to the Kentucky Derby points system. Kentucky Derby starters will earn an additional 30 points each; Kentucky Derby points will be, for finishes in the top 5, 300-120-60-30-15.
Mike Dorr, who writes about racing at Up the Track, and I have divided the Triple Crown-nominated horses into three groups based on criteria including current Derby points standings, graded stakes earnings, and Derby future wagering odds.
Players will choose for their stable:
- 3 Group A horses
- 4 Group B horses
- 5 Group C horses
The groups are available in this Google doc. You must select and post your stable by this Saturday, February 20, by 12:00 PM CST.
Important note: Songbird, though listed as an “A,” is not Triple Crown nominated, but partner Mike Dorr really wanted her in his stable, so we made an exception. Choose her at your peril. (Updated 11 am Saturday–and so far, he’s the only one who’s chosen her…)
After the Sunland Park Derby on March 20, the horses will be divided into two groups (D & E, again grouped by performance criteria above) and stables will be able to add:
- 1 Group D horse
- 1 Group E horse
Round 2 of the contest will begin with the UAE Derby on March 26; supplemental horses must be selected by 6:00 PM CDT Friday, March 25. Points earned by Group D and E horses in Round 1 will not count toward the players’ total.
The contest will conclude with the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7. The winning stable will have the most accumulated points. In the unlikely event of a tie, ties will be broken as follows:
- Highest # of Derby Starters in your stable
- Highest # of Points at the end of Round 1
A reminder post will go up the week before Round 2 begins.
If you finish in the top 3, you’ll be able to choose the organization(s) to which your prize money is donated. All recipient organizations must be registered 501(C)3 charities and must support the well-being of the humans and animals in Thoroughbred racing or on the backstretch.
If you want to play, please post the names of the horses for your stable in the comments below (if you are a first-time or infrequent commenter here, your post will be held in moderation until I can approve it, which generally happens relatively quickly.)
If you want to pledge/contribute, please leave the amount in the comments or e-mail me at Teresa@brooklynbackstretch.com. We’d love to surpass the amount of money that we raised last year.
Good luck, have fun, and let’s do some good for the racing community.