05/24/2011 1:06PM

Frank Stronach to be honored for retirement efforts

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The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation will honor Adena Springs owner and racetrack operator Frank Stronach this summer for his efforts to improve horses’ safety and welfare, the organization announced Tuesday.

The retirement foundation will present Stronach with its inaugural Earle I. Mack award on Aug. 7 at its annual Saratoga Gala fund-raiser in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The award is endowed by longtime Thoroughbred owner and philanthropist Earle Mack, the former ambassador to Finland. The award recognizes dedication and compassion in equine retirement.

In 2004, Stronach developed an in-house equine retirement program at Adena Springs. He also launched the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After Racing Program, matching funds contributed by the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, and now has formed a racehorse after-care program at Santa Anita Park. The California program aims to match ex-racehorses with owners who will make a lifelong commitment to their care. Santa Anita’s purse fund will provide one-third of 1 percent to the program, and Stronach has said the track will provide matching funds. The California Retirement Management Account will distribute the money to various retirement programs in the state.

Mack lauded Stronach as “a proactive leader in his longstanding efforts to provide humane and safe retirements for our sport’s retirees” and called on others in the racing industry to follow Stronach’s example.