10/30/2013 3:39PM

Breeders' Cup notes: Mott helps raise funds for charity

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Barbara D. Livingston
Bill Mott worked for fellow Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg as a teenager.

 Bill Mott,  who will send out a handful of leading contenders this week end in the Breeders’ Cup, was among a  panel of guests who helped raise money for a Thoroughbred retirement organization, TROTT, on Tuesday night at The Derby restaurant in Arcadia. 

Mott sat alongside his onetime boss and fellow Hall of Fame trainer, Jack Van Berg, telling the crowd that he began his racetrack career at age 14 before going to work for Van Berg shortly after.

“Jack told me it’d be seven days a week, but only half-days, and I thought, ‘Well, this is a pretty good gig,’ ” Mott said. “And then he says, ‘I get you from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the other half of the day is yours.’ ”

On a more serious note, Mott pleaded with owners and trainers to be aware of the need for long-term care for Thoroughbred athletes, comparing them with young people who play sports.

“It’s not like after they graduate high school, you just kick them out the door,” he said. “They’ve still got a lot of life ahead of them.”
TROTT (Training Racehorses Off the Track), a nonprofit organization based in Laguna Niguel, Calif., is a rehabilitation and retraining facility dedicated to the care of retired horses. More information is available at trottusa.org.

Donations to jockeys’ fund

A total of $3,000 was being donated to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund after the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters held their 54th annual awards dinner Wednesday night at The Derby.

All of those honored gave their $500 charitable awards to the PDJF: Ramon Dominguez, the Mr. Fitz Award for typifying the spirit of racing; Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson, the Joe Palmer Award for meritorious service; Jack Whitaker, the first Jim McKay Award for career excellence in racing broadcasting; and Bob Fortus, the Walter Haight Award for career excellence in turf writing.

In addition, Whitaker matched the turf writers’ award with another $500, while emcee Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form also donated his $500 host fee to the organization that provides financial assistance to jockeys who have suffered debilitating injuries.