11/01/2013 1:58PM

Breeders’ Cup participants pledge percentage of earnings to aftercare


A number of participants in the Breeders’ Cup have pledged a percentage of their purse earnings in their respective races to the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program.

This is the fifth consecutive year the aftercare organization, which rehabilitates, retrains, and rehomes racehorses, has partnered with Breeders’ Cup horsemen. In the past four years, the pledge initiative has raised nearly $200,000.

“We feel very blessed to receive so much support from the owners and trainers participating in this year’s campaign,” said New Vocations Program Director Anna Ford. “The number of horses needing our services is huge and the funds raised from the pledges will help us continue to grow. It is fairly simple: the more money we raise the more horses we can take.”

A total of 30 horses entered at the Breeders’ Cup, this Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita Park, have owners or trainers supporting this year’s pledge initiative. Trainers who have committed to pledge include Bob Baffert, Kiaran McLaughlin, Doug O’Neill, Todd Pletcher, and Leah Gyarmati.

"We are so happy to support such a great cause at this year's Breeders' Cup," O'Neill, who will saddle nine horses this weekend, said. "There are so many excellent Thoroughbred retirement and adoption organizations out there that care for these great athletes after their racing careers and it's our responsibility as trainers and owners to support their efforts."

Dogwood Stables, which owns Breeders’ Cup Classic contender Palace Malice, and Padua Stables, with Breeders’ Cup Distaff contender Authenticity, lead the long list of owners, which also includes Conquest Stables, James Covello, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Klaravich Stables, Let’s Go Stable, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Rosedown Racing Stables, Treadway Racing Stable, West Point Thoroughbreds, WinStar Farm, Wonderland Racing, and Zayat Stables.

“To us, aftercare of a Thoroughbred is just as important as racing them,” said Justin Zayat, racing manager for Zayat Stables, which starts three runners this weekend. “We are horse lovers and when it comes to retiring them it is always our number one priority to find a good and safe home. There are no better people in the business to work with than New Vocations.”