TRF, NYTB collaborate on sanctuary farm search in New York

NYTB logo[1]The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. are collaborating on an effort to expand the TRF sanctuary farm network in New York with a focus on bringing New York-breds back to the Empire State for their retirement.

The TRF, the country’s oldest and largest Thoroughbred retirement operation, set a goal of finding farms in the state to home rescued and retired New York-breds in 2024. Farm owners in the state are encouraged to consider partnering with the TRF to provide land for these Thoroughbreds, most of whom were raised, raced and reared in New York.

“It would be so impactful for the TRF to have a sanctuary farm in New York,” said TRF Chief Operating Officer Maggie Sweet. “These horses are born here, raised here and race here and it would be a true full-circle moment to retire them here as well.”

Based in Saratoga Springs and founded in 1983, the TRF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization entirely supported by private donations from individuals, organizations, and foundations.

The TRF is also known for its Second Chances Program, which provides incarcerated individuals with life-changing vocational training through an accredited equine care and stable management program. At eight correctional facilities across the U.S., including one juvenile justice facility, this program offers second careers to its horses and a second chance at life for program graduates upon release from prison.

The search for additional sanctuary farms in New York and the Northeast became necessary due to demand. The TRF will look to start small – two farms with 10 horses apiece, for example – with a goal to grow to a comfortable level based on need and support from the New York racing industry.

“We are thrilled to share this opportunity from the TRF with farm owners in New York state to create accredited sanctuary sites for the care of equine athletes beyond their career at the racetrack,” said New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Executive Director Najja Thompson. “Thoroughbred aftercare is of the utmost importance to our organization and members. The TRF has proven to be a leader in that regard.”

Farm owners in New York who are interested in a partnership are encouraged to contact Chelsea O’Reilly, TRF Director of Equine Programs, at[2].

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Horse Racing in New York brings $3 Billion to the NYS Economy

[1]Today results from the American Horse Council (AHC) Economic Impact Study for New York State were released by the equine advocacy group SaddleUpNY!

The report shows New York’s racing sector remains an important hub of Thoroughbred & Standardbred racing in North America. This provides New York State with over $3 billion in economic impact and more than 19,000 jobs.

“The findings from the American Horse Council’s economic impact study for New York report that the breeding and racing industry is an invaluable asset to our state,” said NYTB President Dr. Scott Ahlschwede, D.V.M. “Our state-bred program has positioned itself as the leading regional program in the nation, and we look forward to continuing to work with our fellow stakeholders to ensure that the additional investment in breeding and racing in New York will result in added revenue for all areas across the state.”

SaddleUPNY! Press release continues below
Horse Racing in New York brings $3 Billion to the NYS Economy
New York is one of the largest racing hubs in the United States, and the recent results of the American Horse Council (AHC) Economic Impact Study, along with those of the associated New York State ‘breakout’ study, document the strength and importance of the racing sector in New York’s Equine profile. Together, the Thoroughbred and Standardbred Racing sectors in New York bring an economic impact of $3 billion (inclusive of tourism impact) and employment impact of 19,785.

With 11 pari-mutuel racetracks (four Thoroughbred and seven Standardbred), New York hosted 1078 live race days in 2022, with avtotal handle reaching $2.7 billion and purses topping out at $295 million. In addition to race days, New York hosts some of the top sales in North America. The Thoroughbred sales venue at Saratoga’s Fasig Tipton lands in the top 10 for both the Saratoga Sale and the New York Bred Yearling Sale, both of which take place in August. In Middletown, NY, the Goshen Standardbred Yearling Sale in September is among the Top 10 public Standardbred yearling sales in North America.

Horse racing has a long and robust history in New York, drawing tourists to tracks, farms, towns and communities. The economic value of tourism is part of the $3 billion total impact, as $575 million of that $3 billion comes from racing tourism. Saratoga, as the preeminent and oldest Thoroughbred track in the country, attracts more than a million visitors a year. The Goshen Historic Track in Goshen, NY, established as a Standardbred facility in 1838, is the oldest continuously operated track in North America, regardless of breed. Although horse training occurs year round at the half-mile oval, it is a tourism hub for Orange County during its summer race
meet. Because of the historic nature of both racing venues, Saratoga Springs and Goshen are home to their respective sports’ Hall of Fame Museums, a further tourism draw for New York.

While most of the highlights of racing come on the track at the sport’s various race meets, the behind-the-scenes work of the people that care for the horses – day and night – is what makes it all possible. That work takes place at home farms, stables and practice tracks across New York, including the rolling fields where young foals first stretch their legs, learning the basics and growing strong to one day become racing prospects. According to Tom Grossman, owner of Blue Chip Farms in Wallkill, NY, “our standardbred nursery boasts an average population of 150 mares and their youngsters with enormous trickle-down economic benefits supporting agricultural entities like hay growers, grain and bedding suppliers, and equipment providers (tractors, trucks, hay balers etc.).” The expanded impact of horse farms is an often unrecognized benefit –including the impact on land preservation and associated capital improvement of the land. Based on the AHC study results, 51% of New York horse owners own or lease a farm, barn or stable, with total acreage estimated at 303,000. And while breeders hope those foals will make it to the track, that doesn’t always happen. Thoroughbred and Standardbred race prospects are highly desired for their ability to transition to new careers, however. New York was an early adopter of mechanisms to support such transitions, with programs such as Take2, TAKE THE LEAD, Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption, and the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program. In addition, the NY Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund has provided well over a million dollars to Thoroughbred aftercare facilities in the state, and annually provides more than $100,000 to facilities that re-train Thoroughbreds or provide sanctuary homes for those that cannot have a useful second career.

This summer, New York will see an additional boost to racing’s economic impact, with Saratoga playing host to the Belmont Stakes – the third leg of the famed Triple Crown. According to Najja Thompson, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, “Last summer, the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency (SCID) found that the Thoroughbred meet at Saratoga generated $371 million in economic impact and provided 2,900 jobs across the Capitol Region alone.” Those numbers will no doubt rise dramatically with the Belmont, and the buzz is growing around the potential for those figures. “The Saratoga Chamber of Commerce
thinks the four-day Thoroughbred meet in June for the running of the Belmont Stakes will pump $50 million into the area – and that’s just an estimate of the tourism dollars,” says Tracy Egan, Executive Director of the NY Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund. Enthusiasm for horses in New York is strong, with 2.4 million households (30% of all households) containing a horse enthusiast – and New York racing has something for everyone. Racing schedules for Thoroughbred racing in the state can be found at the NYRA website ( and the Finger Lake Racetrack website The Standardbred racing schedule can be found at
The New York State Economic Impact study was commissioned by SaddleUpNY! and made possible through the generous contributions of the following industry partners and friends: New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Old Field Farm, Ltd, Blue Chip Farm, John Madden Sales, Cornell University Hospital for Animals, New York Farm Bureau, New York State Horse Council, Karin Bump, Timothy Williams, Sally Lynch, Kent Nutrition and Triple Crown Nutrition. In addition, a linked GoFundMe campaign was also utilized for essential broader support from individuals across the state.
This is the second in a series of press releases focusing on the results of the study. Additional highlights of the New York State Economic Impact study will be released in the coming weeks. Questions can be directed to Dr. Karin Bump, Executive Director of SaddleUpNY!, at
Photo credit: Photo Courtesy of Blue Chip Farms, Wallkill, NY. Photo credit to Tammie Jean Photography.
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NYTB Member Benefit: 10 percent discount Walker’s Farm, Home & Tack Shop


We are pleased to announce that all new and renewed 2024 NYTB members are now eligible to receive a 10 percent discount for purchases at Walker’s Farm, Home & Tack Shop located in Fort Ann, NY[1].

The NYTB member discount does not apply to items on sale. The member discount will be applied when presenting your 2024 NYTB Membership card at the counter when making purchases.


Walker’s Farm, Home & Tack Shop is a family-run business that prides itself on creating a friendly shopping experience. The store is a one-stop shop for customers offering quality products from top-name brands and products for all of your farm needs.

Walker’s Farm, Home & Tack is located at 5565 State Route 4 Fort Ann, NY 12827. Store hours are Mondays – Fridays: 8am – 6pm, Saturdays: 8a – 5p and Sundays: 9a – 4p. Their phone number is 518-639-5223.

We hope you appreciate this added NYTB membership benefit. To join or renew your NYTB membership for 2024, to take advantage of this special offer, please visit

  1. Walker’s Farm, Home & Tack Shop located in Fort Ann, NY:
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NYTB Member Exclusive: 2024 Belmont Stakes Presale Access


Dear Members:

All new and renewed 2024 NYTB members are eligible to access the advance ticket presale for the 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.

This year’s Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will be contested at Saratoga Race Course for the first time in history to allow for the uninterrupted construction of a new and re-imagined Belmont Park.

The Presale will begin Wednesday, February 14 at 10:00 am EST on

Highlighted by the 156th edition of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 8, the four-day festival will begin on Thursday, June 6, and continue through Sunday, June 9. The festival will include 23 stakes races with the richest purses since the launch of the multi-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival in 2014.

NYRA is operating the 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival under many of the traditional Belmont Stakes policies, as such, please note the following as they are different from traditional practices at Saratoga Race Course:

All eligible NYTB discount ticket purchases will be verified. To join or renew your NYTB membership for 2024, to take advantage of this special offer, please visit

If you have any questions regarding this year’s Belmont Stakes Racing Festival NYTB member discounts, please contact the NYTB membership services team at (518) 587- 0777.

We hope you enjoy these discounted NYTB membership benefits and hope to see you at this year’s historic Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga Race Course!

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NYTB announces 2023 New York-bred divisional championship nominees

NYTB logo[1]New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) is pleased to announce the nominees for the New York-bred divisional champions of 2023. A panel of New York Turf writers, broadcasters, handicappers, racing analysts and photographers will vote on the winners of each division and the 2023 New York-bred Horse of the Year.

The 2023 New York-bred divisional champions and New York-bred Horse of the Year will be announced at the NYTB Awards Dinner sponsored by the New York Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund on Monday, May 13 from 6-9 p.m. at Sacred Saratoga on the property of GMP Farm in Schuylerville.

“Our organization is excited to celebrate this year’s nominees. All are deserving and represent the best in New York breeding and racing. This year’s awards will be a special night at an exciting new location,” said NYTB President Dr. Scott Ahlschwede, D.V.M.

New York riding legend and NYRA TV personality Richard Migliore will again host the Awards Dinner. Tickets are available $150 for NYTB Members and $175 for non-members – for purchase at[2] or by calling the NYTB Office at (518) 587-0777.

“The New York-bred Divisional Championship Awards is a special night because it recognizes the very best in Thoroughbred breeding and racing in New York,” said Brian O’Dwyer, Chairman of the New York State Gaming Commission and New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund. “On behalf of the New York State Gaming Commission and Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund we are proud to work with NYTB and look forward to celebrating the connections of New York-breds who achieved success representing the New York-bred program last year.”

Also to be honored at the Awards Dinner with 2023 awards will be Broodmare of the Year, Champion Steeplechaser, Trainer, Champion Jockey and Outstanding Breeder.

“NYTB’s annual awards is our marquee event. This year’s nominees are no exception reflecting the quality and strength of the New York-bred program,” said NYTB Executive Director Najja Thompson.

A list of the 2023 New York-bred divisional championship nominees by category follows.

Champion 2-Year-Old Male: Antonio of Venice, El Grande O, The Wine Steward, Wynstock.

Champion 2-Year-Old Filly: Brocknardini, Caldwell Luvs Gold, Cara’s Time, My Mane Squeeze.

Champion 3-Year-Old Male: Allure of Money, Eye Witness, Hejazi, Maker’s Candy.

Champion 3-Year-Old Filly: Downtown Mischief, Gambling Girl, Maple Leaf Mel, Stonewall Star.

Champion Older Dirt Male: Bankit, Dr Ardito, Sherriff Bianco, Straight Arrow.

Champion Older Dirt Female: Classy Edition, Know It All Audrey, Timeless Journey, Venti Valentine.

Champion Turf Male: City Man, Red Knight, Spirit of St Louis, Therapist.

Champion Turf Female: New Ginya, Runaway Rumour, Silver Skillet, Whatlovelookslike.

Champion Male Sprinter: Bold Journey, Today’s Flavor, Rotknee, Thin White Duke.

Champion Female Sprinter: Funny How, Maple Leaf Mel, Rossa Veloce, Sterling Silver.

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NYTB Board Elects Dr. Scott Ahlschwede, D.V.M. President


Dr. Scott Ahlschwede, D.V.M. Photo courtesy of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital.

The Board of Directors of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) held its first meeting of 2024 on Friday, January 19. The newly seated board unanimously elected Dr. Scott Ahlschwede, D.V.M., to serve as Board President through 2026.

Current NYTB director Seth Gregory, owner of Innisfree Farm and Seth Gregory Bloodstock, was elected to the office of Vice President. The board also elected Lere Visagie, owner of Rockridge Stud, to serve as Secretary-Treasurer.

Dr. Ahlschwede is a shareholder veterinarian with Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital and owner of River Valley Farm. He has previously served as an NYTB director since 2016 and succeeds Thomas J. Gallo, III, managing partner of Dream Maker Racing Stable, Thomas J. Gallo, III Sales Agency, and owner of Blue Stone Farm, who previously served as NYTB President since 2015.

”On behalf of our board of directors and membership, I want to thank Tom for his leadership of NYTB and am thankful he will remain a part of the board with his institutional knowledge. As President, I want to ensure we continue to increase and promote the benefits of breeding and foaling in New York as we work to sustain the Thoroughbred industry in New York and nationwide.”

“I am proud of the work our organization has accomplished under my tenure as President. I look forward to continue working with Scott and our newly elected officers to ensure NYTB remains the unified voice of Thoroughbred breeders in the state,” said Gallo.

NYTB Officers and Board of Directors for 2024:



Directors Emeritus:

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NYTB Board Election Results 2023

[1]The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) concluded board elections to fill five seats on Friday, December 22, 2023. This year, NYTB members voted for candidates to serve a four-year term from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2027.



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

Scott Ahlschwede
Thomas J. Gallo III
Jane McMahon
Vivien G. Malloy
Mallory Mort

Six other members of the NYTB Board will serve the third year of a four-year term beginning in 2024:

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

Battaglia & Associates, PLLC, an accounting firm in Halfmoon, NY, administered the NYTB board elections by validating the eligibility of all voters and receiving the completed ballots directly from NYTB members. The firm then tabulated and certified the election results.

Battaglia, & Associates, PLLC reported the official results to NYTB in a letter dated on December 22, 2023.*

*Click here[2] to read Battaglia & Associates, PLLC letter certifying the election.

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2023 NYTB Board of Directors Election – Ballots Have Been Mailed!


Thank you for your continued support of NYTB and your participation in this year’s Board of Directors election. Ballots for this year’s election have been mailed!

If you have not already received your election materials, they should be arriving soon. The packet will include a 2023 ballot, curriculum vitae of all election candidates, and a pre-paid postage return envelope to mail your ballot in.

Once you have completed your ballot, please ensure your pre-paid postage return envelope is Postmarked by Friday, December 15 to ensure your vote is valid and counted.

To view the curriculum vitae of this year’s NYTB Board of Directors election candidates click here[2].

NYTB members with a joint membership listed under one address will receive 2 ballots and one pre-paid postage return envelope. Please ensure both members sign and print their names on the return envelope before mailing.

NYTB members with a joint membership and two separate mailing addresses listed under your membership, were each mailed one ballot.

If you have any questions regarding the election process, please contact our office at 518.587.0777 or email at

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NYTB annual Holiday Party returns Saturday, Dec. 9

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ Inc. is pleased to announce the return of its annual Holiday Party on Saturday, December 9 at the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, NY from 7-10 p.m. ET.

The evening will feature exquisite hors d’oeuvres, chef-attended dinner stations, an open bar, and musical performances from local Saratoga Springs soulful duo Jacksland band. Tickets can be purchased by visiting[1] and are $150 for NYTB members and $175 for non-members.

“The NYTB holiday party is a cherished yearly tradition for NYTB members and New York-bred program participants. It’s a chance to gather in celebration of the program’s 2023 accomplishments and kick off the 2024 breeding season.” said Najja Thompson, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.

This year’s event will be held at at the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame, where we will be surrounded by the excellence and memorabilia in our sport for all to observe and enjoy.”



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New York-breds shine at RRP Thoroughbred Makeover


Red Eagle, a 6-year-old gelding by Danza bred by Deann and Greg Baer, made the Finale in two classes at last week’s Thoroughbred Makeover. Retired Racehorse Project/Pyrois Media Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Last week’s Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America proved fruitful for New York-breds with four competing in five disciplines during Saturday’s Finale and 11 finishing in the top 10 in their respective disciplines.

While preliminary scores decide which five horses qualify for the Finale in each discipline, all five horses enter that day’s competition with a clean slate and the chance to move up and claim the discipline’s Championship title. No horse who makes it to the Finale can finish worse than fifth in their discipline.

Tying for the Empire State Success Story Top New York-Bred Award when finishing third in the Show Jumping division during the preliminary competition, Red Eagle made the Finale in two classes.

Under the eye of two judges at the Finale, Red Eagle was given an overall score of 133.625 to finish fifth in Show Jumping, but first among those with the junior riders aboard. The 6-year-old Danza gelding came back one class later to show off his show hunter skills after finishing fifth in the preliminary competition for that class. He made an impact in that class, moving up to fourth when registering a score of 91, 2 points behind the third-place finisher.

Bred by Deann and Greg Baer, DVM, in New York, Red Eagle only made one start on the track when fourth at Delaware Park in July 2022.


Hush Gorgeous, a 4-year-old daughter of Creative Cause bred by Dr. Scott Pierce, also earned Empire State Success Story Top New York-Bred Award. Retired Racehorse Project/Pyrois Media Photo.

Red Eagle was joined by Hush Gorgeous as the winners of the Empire State Success Story Top New York-Bred Award when that 4-year-old Creative Cause filly bred by Dr. Scott Pierce finished third in Eventing during preliminary competition.

Competing in the first discipline of the morning at the Finale, Hush Gorgeous made it clear she was a serious threat with Jenna Denver aboard. The pair impressed judges during their Finale jumping course to score 83 points – almost 5 points ahead of the third-placed horse and just 2 points behind the winner.

Last racing in August 2022 at Thistledown, Hush Gorgeous finished on the board once in those five starts and earned $2,445.

The filly was joined by Hoboken Jack in Eventing at the Finale after that gelding finished fifth during preliminary competition. In a strong field of competitors, Hoboken Jack stayed steady in the Finale to retain his fifth-place spot among the 66 horses to complete Eventing at the Makeover. He also nearly joined Red Eagle as a two-discipline competitor in the Finale after finishing sixth in Dressage during preliminary competition.

It had been a tight fight for the Dressage Finale spot with New York-bred Ofalltheginjoints just edging Hoboken Jack out of fifth place. With just over 10 points separating first through fifth in the Finale, Ofalltheginjoints’ 40.100 saw her take home the fifth-place ribbon at the end of the weekend.

A maiden winner in her debut at Aqueduct in December of 2021, Ofalltheginjoints was bred by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds and is by the farm’s and state’s leading stallion Central Banker.

Bred by Mr Amore Stables, Hoboken Jack was another who broke his maiden on the track with a maiden-claiming victory in his second start at Belmont Park. By former New York stallion Union Jackson, he is one of two named foals out of Hoboken Honey, who Mr. Amore Stables purchased for $11,000 as a 2-year-old.

To see complete Empire State Success Story Top New York-Bred Award results from this years’ preliminary competition, click here[3].

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