Aftercare and the Success of a Race Meet: An Emerging Partnership

Depending on who you ask, the success of a race meet and/or racing event is somewhat dependent on a few well known things; the weather, horses, attendance and amount wagered.
(Sometimes it is the soft pretzels.)

Thoroughbred racing’s biggest and best events almost always “plan” for good weather.

The weather will almost always reflect attendance. Good weather brings more people in the gate and with it a bigger celebration.

And you can always bet the biggest racing events will bring out great horses. Great horses bring an increase in wagering…you get the gist.

The amount wagered is a constant roll of the dice reflected partially by field size, grade of the races, the quality of the athletic choices and potential outcomes.

You may be asking what does this have to do with aftercare?

For the most part when racing does well, aftercare does well.

When there are big events in racing  where the TAA is involved, we not only have a chance to raise much needed funds, but it also sets the stage for a greater awareness for all the positive things the Thoroughbred racing industry is doing.

As we wrap up a successful month for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance in South Florida at Gulfstream Park, and in Las Vegas at the National Handicapping Championships contest, we reflect positively on all the events that happened last month and we thought we should share.

There were so many items to list, and it was a whirl wind but here is a basic break down of how the TAA was present at Gulfstream park and Las Vegas over two weekends this January.

  • The TAA was named as the beneficiary of the Friday evening Eclipse Awards Pre-Party.
  • The next day we presented the TAA Best Turned Out Horse Award Sponsored by Star Ladies to a groom in each race on Sunshine Millions Day.
  • Gulfsteam Park and Elite Turf Club sponsored the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf to benefit the TAA.

Winner of the Elite Turf Club sponsored race to benefit the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance was won by TAA Board Member Craig Bernick of Glen Hill Farm.

  • On January 21th, the 46th Annual NTRA Eclipse Awards named the TAA as the official aftercare partner of the awards and allowed two private airline charter trips to be auctioned off by LUXAIR.
  • That following Monday the 23rd, the TAA participated in a photo-op with two time Horse of the Year winner California Chrome, US Polo Team Captain Nic Roldan and equestrian Nikki Walker.
  • XBTV conducted an interview with Nikki Walker discussing Thoroughbred aftercare and the TAA which aired on the Gulfstream Park simulcast show and also online.

  • Meanwhile in Las Vegas, during January 27th- Sunday January 29th, NTRA rasied funds for the TAA via the NHC Tito’s Charity Challenge presented by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
  • On Saturday January 28th, the TAA was named as one of the Official Charities of Pegasus World Cup Invitational.
  • During the Pegasus World Cup invitational, the TAA had our 30 second commercial air on the NBC broadcast. View commercial here.
  • Again, the TAA presented an award for each Best Turned Out Horse Sponsored by StarLadies Racing to each groom for each race on Pegasus World Cup Invitational day.
  • Acclaimed street artist Magda Love was on site to preform a live painting in honor of the Pegasus World cup Invitational to benefit the TAA.

Last month was a great and positive example how through big events in horse racing we can help the growth of aftercare awareness and funding.

B. Wayne Hughes and Beholder connections pictured with TAA Board Members after LUXAIR auction at the 46th Annual Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream Park.

The TAA is an industry united initiative and our industry stakeholders showed their commitment not just for the TAA but for all of our 64 accredited aftercare organizations across North America. When we work together as an industry there is no limit to what we can achieve.

And by the way, Gulfstream Park has a great soft pretzel!