NEWS: nytb

Pioneering horsewoman Suzie O’Cain passes

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Suzie O’Cain

By Tom Law

Suzie O’Cain, one of the most recognizable faces and unique personalities in the New York Thoroughbred industry, passed away Tuesday in Saratoga Springs after a battle with breast cancer.

A former member of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc.’ Board of Directors for more than two decades and one of three Directors Emeriti at the time of her passing, O’Cain and her husband of 40 years, Dr. C. Lynwood “Doc” O’Cain, managed Highcliff Farm in Delanson for 23 years.

“When we were at Highcliff she basically co-managed everything with me,” Doc O’Cain said. “She did all office work, all the advertising, all the stallion promotion, the booking of stallions. She was a big part of the operation and its success.”

Born in Madison, Wisc., and raised in Mississippi, Suzie O’Cain attended the University of Mississippi in Oxford and later graduated from Ohio State University in Columbus with a bachelor’s degree in education.

“We met in Louisiana and were married in Louisiana,” Doc O’Cain said. “She showed Quarter Horses in Louisiana and knew nothing about Thoroughbreds at all. I did some Thoroughbred veterinary work in Louisiana and when we moved up here she got involved in Thoroughbreds.”

The O’Cains moved to the Northeast in 1985 when Doc O’Cain went to work at Everett and Gustave Schoenborn Sr.’s Schoenborn Brothers Farm in Coxsackie, which stood leading New York stallions Cormorant and Talc. He also worked at Gus Schoenborn Jr.’s Contemporary Stallions, which stood Ends Well, Double Negative and others.

The association with Highcliff started in 1989 and during their time with Carl Lizza, the O’Cains were heavily involved in his successful Flying Zee Stable breeding and racing programs. The couple continued their involvement in the Empire State’s breeding and stallion programs after Lizza’s death in July 2011 and managed and marketed stallions under the Saratoga Stallions banner.

Suzie O’Cain served the industry in many capacities, including as a member of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s board of directors from 2003 until this past August. She also served as co-chairwoman of the NYTB’s Political Action Committee and chairwoman of the NYTB’s Media Committee.

O’Cain also founded Find A Cure Stable to campaign horses to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She also hosted a show called “Suzie’s Corner” that aired on the New York City OTB and Capital OTB networks where she interviewed prominent women in the Thoroughbred industry and was honored in 2003 at the governor’s mansion in Albany during a Women’s History Month reception to recognize Pioneering Women of the Capital Region.

“Suzie was a very unique person, a very smart person,” Doc O’Cain said. “And she had the personality to go with it. She could walk into a room and take it over.”

Plans for a memorial service and/or celebration of life, most likely in August at Saratoga Race Course, are pending. Donations can be made in Suzie’s name to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

NYTB board election results 2021

Saturday, December 11th, 2021

NYTB logoLate Friday, the independent accounting firm Whittemore, Dowen, & Ricciardelli (WDR, LLP) certified results for this year’s 2021 New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.’s Board of Directors election.

This year, NYTB members voted to fill six seats on the board for candidates to serve four-year terms from January, 1, 2022 through December 31, 2025.

The winning candidates, presented in alphabetical order by last name, are:

James Bond
Rick Burke
Lois Engel
Seth Gregory 
Michael Lischin
Lere Visagie

The five other members of our board that will serve the second of their three-year terms in 2022:

Thomas Gallo
Mallory Mort
Vivien Malloy
Scott Ahlschwede, DVM
Dan Hayden

The next Board of Directors election will take place in November 2023.

Attached, please find a letter from Whittemore, Dowen, and Ricciardelli, LLP certifying the election results.

Tickets available for NYTB Holiday Party

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ Inc. is pleased to announce the return of its annual Holiday Party on Saturday, Dec. 4 at Salt & Char Restaurant in downtown Saratoga Springs. Tickets are currently available for the Holiday Party, which runs from 6-9 p.m. ET with an open bar throughout and food served at 7 p.m.

“We’re happy to once again be able to host this event at one of the premier restaurants in Saratoga to kick off the holiday season,” said Najja Thompson, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. “As we look back on another great year for the New York-bred program and in anticipation of the 2022 breeding season, this event is one for all to enjoy who participate and interested to learn more about the New York-bred program.”

Tickets can be purchased at and are $150 for NYTB members and $175 non-members.

The NYTB will also offer a special discounted hotel rate at Saratoga Hilton for $139 a night for Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4. Click here to reserve a room.


Strong New York presence at Thoroughbred Makeover

Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Aussie Prayer, a 9-year-old mare bred by Michael Shanley who earned $216,441, is among a strong group of New York-breds in the Thoroughbred Makeover. Photo courtesy of Retired Racehorse Project.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Kentucky is facing a New York-bred invasion this week as off-track Thoroughbreds descend on the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington for the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America.

An event created to show off the versatility of retired racehorses, the Makeover has 10 different disciplines for horses to compete in with entrants allowed to choose up to two. After the cancelation of the Makeover in 2020, this year is a “Mega Makeover” combining the 2020 and 2021 classes. To be eligible for the Makeover, a horse had to have worked or raced after July 1, 2018 for the 2020 group and July 1, 2019 for the 2021 group. The event runs from Tuesday through Sunday.

The Makeover concludes Saturday and Sunday with Finale for each respective year. The top five in each discipline go on to the Finale to compete for the title of Thoroughbred Makeover Champion and a cash prize of $10,000. The Finales will be livestreamed on RRP’s website with the class of 2020 competing Saturday and 2021 Sunday.

Want to attend the Makeover? The event is free Tuesday through Friday and tickets are $10 per day on Saturday and Sunday, with weekend passes available for $15.

Before we get to the competition, it’s worth looking at just how big an impact New York-breds have on the training competition this year.

  • 116 retired New York-bred racehorses were registered for the combined 2020-2021 ‘Mega Makeover’ in late July – the second most of any state. Sixty-four of them entered the Makeover when final entries were taken the following month. New-York-breds made up 12.2 percent of all entries at the Mega Makeover. (Four horses have scratched since entries closed but New York is still represented by a large group).
  • 63 different breeding partnerships bred the 64 horses. Cheryl Prudhomme and Dr. Michael Gallivan were the only ones to breed two in partnership, but Christopher Shelli, Dr. Jerry Bilinski, Hidden Lake and Sequel all had their names in various partnerships on two different horses.
  • Six New York-bred Take The Lead graduates are entered in the competition: Excluded, Golden Giant, Hard D S C, Inspector Henning, Ragnar Lothbrok and Win the Shake. As of Oct. 8, all six were still planning on competing. The six won a combined $265,584 when making 52 starts with six wins and 10 other top-three finishes. Excluded provided $140,190 of those earnings. In their second careers, they are showing in four of the 10 disciplines offered with most of them in the hunter/jumper disciplines.
  • Though they’ve moved on to a second career, many of the horses entered were productive racehorses. The combined average earnings for the 64 entered is $52,398. Broken down into the different classes, those competing in the 2020 division averaged $45,306 for 22 horses and 2021 averages $56,113 for 42 horses. Eleven of the horses competing earned $100,000 or more.
  • Build to Suit, champion New York-bred sprinter in 2019, is among ex-racehorses from the Empire State competing in the Thoroughbred Makeover. NYRA Photo.

    The highest earner is 2019 Champion New York-bred Sprinter Build to Suit, who made $352,390 with a record of 10 top three finishers in 13 starts. Bred by Spendthrift Farm LLC, Build to Suit represents the 2021 class with the tough racehorse Aussie Prayer leading the 2020 class with $216,441. Aussie Prayer, a 9-year-old mare bred by Michael Shanley, raced 40 times with seven victories and 16 other top-three finishes.

  • As of Oct. 8, 60 New York-breds were still entered in the Makeover with entries in all 10 disciplines offered. The discipline with the most New York-bred entries is Dressage with 21, followed by 18 each in Show Jumping and Eventing. Show Hunters has 14, while 10 are entered in Barrel Racing, seven in Competitive Trail, six in Freestyle, three in Ranch Work, two in Field Hunters and one in Polo. Forty horses are competing in two events with 20 just contesting one.
  • Wondering which sire has the most New York-breds in the show after scratches? That honor goes to Sequel New York’s Mission Impazible, who has six competing. He has a versatile group showing with his competitors entered for Barrel Racing (three), Show Hunter (two), Show Jumping, Eventing, Competitive Trail, and Freestyle. Freud and Big Brown are tied for second at three each with Honorable Dillion the only other New York-based sire to have more than one entries. In all, 46 different stallions sire the New York-breds in the competition.

NYTB is joined by NYRA and NYTHA in sponsoring the $2,500 Empire State Success Story prize for the competition’s leading New York-bred. Find out more about the Thoroughbred Makeover and the horses entered at

Coalition launches We Are NY Horse Racing

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

NYTB logoA coalition comprised of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc., New York Racing Association, small businesses, unions, non-profits and trade organizations have launched We Are NY Horse Racing, a coalition designed to educate New Yorkers regarding the importance of the sport of horse racing to the New York economy.

From downstate labor unions to upstate local restaurants and hotels, We Are NY Horse Racing has garnered statewide support.

“Our membership is well aware of the hard work and dedication required to support a successful racing industry in New York,” said Najja Thompson, Executive Director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. “New York’s horse breeders and farm owners have propelled the sport forward in recent years, and we look forward to contributing our collective voice to this important effort.”

The horse racing economy includes farmers, trainers, horse breeders, horse owners, racetrack employees, dozens of labor unions that support racing operations, backstretch workers, veterinarians and racing officials as well as seasonal and part-time jobs directly tied to big events such as the Belmont Stakes or the annual summer meeting at Saratoga Race Course.

As a driver of tourism downstate and throughout upstate New York, horse racing is a big business for the hospitality sector at a time when hotels, bars and restaurants continue to face uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The recently concluded 2021 meet in Saratoga saw an average daily attendance of more than 26,000.

“Saratoga Race Course is an economic engine for upstate New York and a source of great pride for our communities,” said Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. “Our member businesses recognize the sport’s direct impact to the local economy, which is why we will take every opportunity to emphasize horse racing’s importance to Saratoga County and New York.”

According to a study published by the American Horse Council in 2018, horse racing in New York State is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual economic impact. In addition, the broader equine industry is New York’s second-largest agribusiness, generating good-paying jobs in every county and corner of the State. The sport of horse racing drives an industry that sustains hundreds of small businesses on and around the 11 racetracks currently in operation in New York.

“The horse racing industry is so instrumental to my restaurants across Saratoga. Without it, I’m not sure how local businesses like mine would survive,” said Nancy Bambara, Vice Oresident and Chief Operating Officer of DZ Restaurants, which owns and operates Chianti Il Ristorante, Forno Bistro and Boca Bistro in Saratoga Springs. “I am very happy to be joining We Are NY Horse Racing and its initiatives, especially as the restaurant industry recovers from the pandemic and we look towards the recovery of our local economy.”

We Are NY Horse Racing will engage in a number of activities moving forward, including events, paid media and other efforts directly related to educating and informing New Yorkers about the importance of horse racing to the New York economy.

“At the Belmont Child Care Association, we provide a safe, supportive and academically inspiring environment for the children of parents working in thoroughbred racing,” said Joanne Adams, Executive Director of the Belmont Child Care Association. “The sport’s continued success helps to enable the BCCA to expand our programming and work with even more children in the future. That’s why we are committed to this effort and look forward to participating in the months to come.”

“We provide health and wellness medical services for the NYRA backstretch community and see firsthand how the sport provides good jobs that support families,” said Paul Ruchames, Executive Director of the Backstretch Employee Service Team of NY. “Our community takes great pride in caring for horses and the essential services that make racing possible throughout the year in New York. We will play an active role in this growing coalition.”

“Our mission is to minister to the heart and soul of the hardworking women and men working in the backstretch at NYRA tracks,” said Reverend Humberto Chavez of the New York Race Track Chaplaincy. “We must do everything we can to secure the livelihoods of the backstretch community that keeps our racetracks running.”

Founding members of the We Are NY Horse Racing Coalition include:

  • New York State Laborers’ Organizing Fund
  • Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce
  • Long Island Contractors Association
  • New York Farm Bureau
  • Saratoga Casino and Hotel
  • NY Racetrack Chaplaincy
  • District Council 9, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
  • DZ Restaurants, Saratoga
  • The Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau & Suffolk Counties, AFL-CIO
  • The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA)
  • New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. (NYTB)
  • Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA)
  • Discover Saratoga
  • New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA)
  • Gateway Youth Outreach
  • Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association
  • Standardbred Owners Association, Inc.
  • Capital Off-Track Betting
  • Backstretch Employees Service Team (B.E.S.T)
  • Harness Horse Association of Central New York
  • Saratoga Harness Horseperson’s Association
  • Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association
  • Empire State Harness Horsemen’s Alliance
  • Catskill Off-Track Betting

“The mission of the New York Farm Bureau is to support today’s agricultural needs and create member opportunities for tomorrow, and many of these opportunities are a direct result of the horse racing industry,” said Jeff Williams, Public Policy Director of the New York Farm Bureau. “New York agriculture and horse racing go hand in hand, which is why our organization is pleased to be a part of We Are NY Horse Racing.”

“Long Island contractors are proud to join the We are NY Horse Racing as this industry is an economic boom for our area,” said Marc Herbst, Executive Director of the Long Island Contractors’ Association. “Horse racing has provided our contractors with good-paying jobs – from working at Belmont Park to repairing critical infrastructure that enables fans to visit Belmont, we are grateful to have these local job opportunities.”

“Our members have been positively impacted by the horse racing industry for decades,” stated Vincent Albanese, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the New York State Laborers’ Organizing Fund. “You may not see it on television, but our members are the folks responsible for maintaining many facets of the track. We’re proud to support this new coalition that will educate New Yorkers about the broad impact of the industry, including the employment of hundreds of unionized construction workers.”

“The Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau & Suffolk Counties stand in solidarity with the We Are NY Horse Racing Coalition,” said Matthew Aracich, President of The Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau & Suffolk Counties. “The sport of horse racing and its broader industry provides our members with family-sustaining jobs in and around Belmont Park. From our carpenters to our engineers and plumbers, we are grateful for the opportunities the horse racing industry brings to our local unions.”

“At Gateway Youth Outreach (GYO), we provide quality after-school programs to children in the communities surrounding Belmont Park,” said Pat Boyle, Executive Director of Gateway Youth Outreach. “The men and women who work at Belmont are our friends and neighbors and recognize their role in supporting organizations like GYO whenever possible. The children and families we serve are better off because of the opportunities to be found right here at Belmont Park.”

“New York State’s harness racing industry is proud to stand together with our Thoroughbred colleagues and agricultural stakeholders from all across the state as part of the We are New York Horse Racing Coalition,” said Joseph Faraldo, of the Empire State Harness Horsemen’s Alliance. “We look forward to telling our story directly to New Yorkers and decision makers in Albany to highlight the importance of the equine industry in New York.”

To learn more about the coalition, please visit

NYTB to host Saratoga membership meeting/seminar Oct. 17

Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders hosts its annual general membership meeting and industry education seminar at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion in Saratoga Springs Sunday, Oct. 17. The event begins at 5 p.m. and all are encouraged to RSVP by Friday, Oct. 14 at

Veterinarian Dr. Scott Hancock will speak on the educational topic, “Stress Happens, Ulcers don’t have to.” Hancock is a professional service veterinarian for Boehringer-Ingelheim Animal Health with special interests in equine immunology, endocrinology, respiratory disease, equine gastric ulcer syndrome and lameness evaluation and therapies

The event, the day before the Fasig-Tipton New York breeding stock sale at Saratoga, will be followed by a complimentary cocktail hour and barbecue for those in attendance.

Fasig-Tipton’s fall sale in Saratoga returns Oct. 18 this year after not being held in 2020. The sale, which begins at 10 a.m., includes 90 broodmares and racing/broodmare prospects, and 200 weanlings.

Those wishing to attend the seminar and membership meeting must RSVP by Oct. 14 at For more information, send an email to or call (518) 587-0777.





New York-bred millionaire Zivo to lead post parade for Rick Violette Stakes

Sunday, July 18th, 2021

Zivo and Cherie DeVaux in the winner’s circle following his victory in the G2 Suburban. Susie Raisher photo.

NYRA Press Release

Retired New York-bred graded stakes millionaire Zivo will lead the post parade for Wednesday’s Rick Violette Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. The event is one of many activities set for the inaugural New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day on Wednesday, July 21 at the Spa.

Presented by the New York Racing Association (NYRA), New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, (NYRA) and New York Thoroughbred Breeders (NYTB), New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day will highlight the work of a variety of organizations committed to aftercare initiatives.

The 12-year-old son of True Direction, who accumulated $1,017,300 in earnings with nine victories from 19 starts for owner and breeder Thomas Coleman and conditioner Chad Brown, initially retired to stud in 2016 at Irish Hill Century Farm in Stillwater, New York before being pensioned.

Currently, he is the stable pony for trainer Cherie DeVaux, who initially worked with Zivo when she was as an assistant for Brown. Since first meeting their bond has been inseparable.

“Zivo has always been special to me. I think he came into the barn during my second winter working with Chad [Brown],” said DeVaux. “He was always one of my favorites. From the start it was a love affair. Just to see him being able to develop from a young colt to an accomplished runner was something special. The highlight winning the Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont [2014] to competing in the Breeders’ Cup [eighth-place finish in 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic]. He not only gained my heart but the affection of many New Yorkers.”

Although Zivo made the majority of his starts between Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack with 13 starts, he also ran five times at Saratoga, highlighted by an allowance victory and second-place finish in the Albany stakes in 2012. DeVaux is happy racing fans will once again have the chance to see him on track on a day in celebration of one the many careers retired racehorses can go on to successfully do.

“He is a really personable horse,” said DeVaux. “When I found out he was being pensioned there was no other option as to where he was going. It was just a matter of what capacity with me and my family. I’m really excited the fans will get to see him once again. It’s really neat when you get to see a retired racehorse, and one as accomplished as him back on the track after a couple of seasons of breeding in a whole another role. Watching him at the barn and performing his new duties day to day, you would never know he was any of that. He’s taken onto his new career in a great way and he’s another great example of how we care for our horses and their capabilities in being able to  perform one of many duties once leaving the track.”

The Rick Violette Stakes, named in honor of the late NYTHA President who spearheaded the creation of the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program and TAKE THE LEAD Retirement Program, and was a founding member of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) is carded as Race 4 on Wednesday with a post time of 2:49 p.m. ET.

Additional off-track Thoroughbreds will be showcased on the main track from 11:45 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., performing demonstrations of a variety of disciplines. Learn more about New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day here and a special appearance by fellow New York-bred standout Uncle Sigh here.

Meet and Greet with 2014 Kentucky Derby Contender Uncle Sigh on New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day

Sunday, July 18th, 2021

Uncle Sigh breezes at Belmont Park on April 25, 2014 ahead of his tilt at the Kentucky Derby. Susie Raisher photo.

NYRA Press Release

New York-bred stalwart Uncle Sigh, a contender in the 2014 Kentucky Derby, will be at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, July 21, as part of the inaugural New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day.

The 10-year-old is a fitting ambassador for New York’s aftercare efforts, as his 14th-place finish at Churchill Downs was the only one of 42 starts made outside the state. Uncle Sigh was runner-up in both the Withers and Gotham Stakes and fifth in the Wood Memorial en route to the Derby, and ended a successful racetrack career with seven wins and $648,686 in earnings.

He retired through New York’s TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program to ReRun in upstate New York in January of 2020, and quickly adapted to his new routine.

“He acted like he had lived here his entire life,” said ReRun Executive Director Lisa Molloy. “He never missed a beat – he usually takes most things in his stride.”

Uncle Sigh’s life is decidedly more relaxed now.

“He resides at our East Greenbush facility and we use him as a lead horse for the youngsters, especially out on trails,” Molloy said. “I take him to the occasional horse show, and we utilize his kind and generous nature by having him interact and work with veterans suffering from PTSD via the Saratoga Warhorse program.”

Retired racehorses can go on to any number of second careers, and Uncle Sigh has shown a knack for several occupations.

“Apart from being an exceptional breed ambassador, trail packer and show hunter, he really has found a niche in equine assisted therapy,” Molloy said, adding, “He really does demonstrate the versatility of Thoroughbreds.”

Fans can meet with Uncle Sigh at Saratoga and take selfies from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Horse Sense, an exhibit area behind the Grandstand near Gate A. Additional off-track Thoroughbreds will be showcased on the main track from 11:45 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., performing demonstrations of a variety of disciplines. Learn more about New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day here and a special appearance by fellow New York-bred standout Zivo here.

NYRA, NYTHA and NYTB announce the creation of New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day at Saratoga

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021
NYRA, NYTHA and NYTB announce the creation of New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day at Saratoga

NYRA, NYTHA and NYTB announce the creation of New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day at Saratoga.

Rick Violette Stakes highlights a day dedicated to retired racehorses on Wednesday, July 21

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA), and New York Thoroughbred Breeders (NYTB) will host the inaugural New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, July 21. The featured race will be the Rick Violette Stakes, named for the late NYTHA President who spearheaded the creation of the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program and TAKE THE LEAD Retirement Program, and was a founding member of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA).

The timing of the event is no coincidence, explained trainer Rick Schosberg, who succeeded Violette as President of TAKE2 and TAKE THE LEAD in 2018.

“We’re proud to carry on Rick Violette’s work in promoting and protecting our equine athletes,” Schosberg said. “The horses give us so much – the excitement of the race, the pleasure of their company, our appreciation of their power and beauty. We owe our very livelihoods to them. It is our duty to make sure they have safe haven when their racing careers are over.”

New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day will begin with former racehorses showcasing the skills learned in their second careers. More than 800 racehorses have been retired through TAKE THE LEAD from the NYRA racetracks. The majority of the horses go on to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, which has a facility in Gansevoort, NY, and ReRun, based just outside of Albany in East Greenbush, for retraining and rehoming. The two organizations will bring former racehorses out to the track for live demonstrations before the first race on July 21. ReRun will be represented by two New York-bred stalwarts – former claimer Golden Giant, and former stakes horse Uncle Sigh. Both retired through TAKE THE LEAD in early 2020, and have found success in second careers in the show ring. Golden Giant, a winner at every horse show he has attended to date, will compete in the Hunter Division of the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover in Kentucky in October.

New Vocations will be represented by a trio of horses. Inventor’s Gate, who made 31 starts before retiring in 2019, will be put through his paces in ranch riding; Remembering Bobbie will demonstrate his dressage moves; and Soaring Star will show off his show jumping ability.

“It’s amazing how versatile and adaptable retired racehorses can be,” NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum said. “Most have put their racing careers behind them by the time they are five or six years old, but horses can live well into their 20s. That’s why New York’s horsemen are staunch supporters not only of Thoroughbred aftercare, but also in promoting second career opportunities that will create a market for our horses long after they leave the track.”

The New York Thoroughbred industry is a leader in aftercare, donating more than $1.28 million toward racehorse retirement every year. In addition to the contributions made by NYRA, NYTHA, NYTB, the NYRA jockey colony, and individual owners and trainers, there have been two ground-breaking programs implemented at the NYRA tracks. Owners pay a per-start fee for every horse that races, and they pay a surcharge on every horse claimed out of a NYRA race. Those two programs alone raise about $500,000 every year.

“New York State is the national leader when it comes to responsibly protecting our retired racehorses,” said NYRA President & CEO Dave O’Rourke. “NYRA is pleased to partner with NYTHA and the NYTB to create a day at Saratoga to honor the hard work of so many involved in thoroughbred aftercare. We look forward to cementing this day as a Saratoga tradition for many years to come.”

Racing fans can show their support by texting AFTERCARE2021 to 44321 and donating to TAKE THE LEAD, or by opting to make a donation to the TAA when cashing a winning ticket on an AmTote International self-service betting terminal. All donations are tax deductible.

Fans in attendance at Saratoga on New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day also will have the opportunity to learn more about the many aftercare initiatives in New York, with video presentations on TAKE2 and TAKE THE LEAD, and guests on NYRA’s in-house broadcast, as well as Saratoga Live, discussing everything from the process of retiring a horse from the track to finding the perfect adopter to the many second careers that are suitable for Thoroughbreds.

In addition to New Vocations, ReRun, TAKE2 and TAKE THE LEAD, the Community Booth behind the jockeys’ quarters will offer information on six additional TAA-accredited aftercare organizations that support efforts to provide happy and healthy retirement for New York’s racehorses: ACTT Naturally, Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue, Lucky Orphans, Old Friends at Cabin Creek, Second Chance Thoroughbreds and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

The culmination of the day will be the post parade for the Rick Violette Stakes, which will be led by New York-bred millionaire Zivo. The winner of the 2014 Suburban Handicap, Zivo is now retired and enjoying life as the stable pony for trainer Cherie DeVaux.

“As breeders of our equine athletes, the majority of our members foal, raise, break and train the Thoroughbreds that compete in New York and across the country,” said NYTB President Thomas J. Gallo III. “We like to know that when a horse leaves our care to have a career on the racetrack, then once retired continues to have a prosperous and meaningful life. Each of the organizations participating today agree it is important and necessary to bring awareness of the widespread aftercare efforts in New York directly to our fans at Saratoga.”

About TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program

The TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, was created in 2012 with the goal of making it easier to find new homes for retired racehorses. TAKE2 sponsors prize money in Thoroughbred Hunter and Jumper classes, high-score year-end awards and the $20,000 TAKE2 Hunter & Jumper Finals. The program partners with more than 370 horse shows nationwide. TAKE THE LEAD works with owners and trainers to find placements for the horses retiring from the NYRA tracks with TAA-accredited aftercare organizations. Co-funded by members of the Thoroughbred industry around the country: New York Thoroughbred Breeders; New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund; Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Associations in Maryland (through Beyond the Wire) and Pennsylvania (through Turning for Home); Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company; and members of the racing and horse show communities across the country, TAKE2 is a 2020 TCA grantee. For more information on TAKE2 and TAKE THE LEAD, go to

NYTB sets social schedule for Saratoga meeting

Friday, June 25th, 2021

NYTB Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearling Sale Cocktail Party 2021

Please join the NYTB for the 2021 Cocktail Party in the Man o’ War Restaurant at the Fasig-Tipton sales grounds at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 14.

Guests will enjoy fine culinary selections and complimentary cocktails

Tickets: $75 NYTB members
$125 non-members

To register, or for more information, visit or call 518.587.0777. We will also accept mailed checks for each event made out to NYTB, Inc., with the event name and number of tickets requested in the memo of the check.

Guests MUST RSVP by August 2 or a late fee will apply.


Saratoga Showcase Day with NYTB in the 1863 Club

Please join NYTB on Friday, August 27, 2021 at Saratoga Race Course for the Saratoga Showcase Day — an all-New York-bred race card featuring six stakes races worth more than $1 million.

The Rail at the 1863 Club is a climate-controlled facility at the clubhouse turn that offers sweeping unmatched views of the track.

Included is admission, race day program, a buffet-style lunch with non-alcoholic drinks included, tax and gratuities.

Tickets: $95 NYTB Members
$125 non-members.

This is a sell-out event and limited to 100 participants, so RSVP as soon as possible to secure your spot!

Guests MUST RSVP by August 11 or a late fee will apply.

To register, or for more information, visit or call 518.587.0777. We will also accept mailed checks for each event made out to NYTB, Inc., with the event name and number of tickets requested in the memo of the check.