SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today celebrated women and their contributions to the thoroughbred industry while raising funds to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) during Fabulous Fillies Day at Saratoga Race Course.
The celebration was highlighted on-track with decorative pink bunting and flowers, the iconic Sea Hero statue in the paddock was draped with a pink horse blanket, and all jockeys riding in the day’s card wore pink armbands to commemorate the occasion.
Fans were encouraged to wear pink to show their support for breast cancer awareness and had the opportunity to make monetary donations to the BCRF at numerous areas throughout the track during the day. Guests who donated received a free pink breast cancer awareness wristband.
In recognition of the celebration, officials from NYRA and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association joined representatives from the BCRF in the winner’s circle to present a combined donation of $10,000 to the non-profit organization. The presentation took place following the day’s seventh race, named “New York Racing Association Salutes Breast Cancer Research Foundation & P.L.A.Y. for Pink”.
“The men and women of the New York Racing Association are honored to contribute to the fight to end breast cancer through this donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation,” said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. “As one of the world’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing research to eradicate breast cancer in our lifetime, I can think of no better cause to rally around today as we recognize the important role of women in our sport.”
The centerpiece of the day-long affair was the Sizzling Hot PinkSaratoga Hat Luncheon presented by Escada and Moet & Chandon in the At the Rail Pavilion. Guests enjoyed a champagne reception followed by a luncheon featuring Jackson Estate wines and also had the opportunity to shop at the Escada boutique.
This year’s luncheon was held in honor of Barbara Banke, owner of Stonestreet Farm and Stonestreet Stables which has campaigned Horses of the Year Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, as well as Eclipse Award winner My Miss Aurelia and 2015 Longines Test Stakes winner Cavorting. A prominent attorney and breast cancer survivor, Banke serves as a global ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Banke was presented with a commemorative Longines watch by Kay at the event.
“I’m honored to be in the company of other honorees and great women in racing. It means a lot to me,” said Banke. “I encourage other women who are interested in racing to join a partnership, get a group together, get into it slowly and learn as much as you can. There are so many great female groups now.”
The NYRA Community Outreach Booth hosted Floydwarriors.com, an online organization dedicated to supporting and inspiring individuals and families from the Capital Region who have been recently diagnosed with cancer. Designed to relieve the burden of day-to-day tasks and provide support to those undergoing cancer treatment, Floydwarriors.com gives those battling cancer the opportunity to request help for housekeeping, meal delivery, childcare, and other daily needs.
“Today has been terrific. We also came last year and it was so successful. It could not be more simple,” said Floydwarriors.com founder and president Lisa Morahan. “It’s really wonderful to have a community partner like NYRA that offers so much to the public and also recognizes the need to support local charities. The Community Booth makes it so easy for us. It’s really phenomenal.”
The 2015 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 7. For more information, call (518) 584-6200 or visit nyra.com.