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Travers Celebration Raises $120,000, Matching All-Time Record

By Eric Wing; Mark Bardack | 10/23/2013 10:31 AM ET
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The 2013 Travers Celebration committee today announced that the 13th edition of the event matched an all-time record high in generating $120,000 for its beneficiaries: the Backstretch Employee Service Team, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and the Times Union Hope Fund.

This year's event was held at historic Saratoga Race Course on August 22, two days before the 144th running of the $1 million Travers Stakes. All net proceeds will benefit the three community organizations, each of which will receive $40,000.

The 2013 Travers Celebration honored three-time Eclipse Award winning jockey Ramon Dominguez, who announced his retirement earlier this year following injuries sustained in an accident at Aqueduct Racetrack last January. During his career, Dominguez won 4,985 races and earned nearly $200 million in purses.

"The New York Racing Association is delighted by our patrons' support of these wonderful organizations that do so much for so many," said The New York Racing Association, Inc. CEO and President Chris Kay. "It was a privilege to recognize Ramon for his outstanding career and continued service as an ambassador for the racing industry."

"We would like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to the evening's guests, whose attendance will make a meaningful impact in the lives of thousands of individuals, including the many children throughout our community who benefit from the services provided by the Times Union's Hope Fund," said 2013 Travers Celebration Co-Chair George R. Hearst III, Publisher and CEO of the Times Union. "The success of the evening, reflected in the record-matching amount of revenue generated, was undoubtedly a reflection of the community's excitement surrounding the 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course."

"The work performed by our three beneficiaries is tremendously important to livelihoods both on and off the track. We could not be more pleased with the results of the evening and look forward to seeing the impact of our contribution in the community," said 2013 Travers Celebration Co-Chair Sharon Dominguez, wife of Ramon Dominguez.

The 2013 Travers Celebration was sponsored by The New York Racing Association, Ketel One Vodka, Metropolitan Jets, Northeastern Fine Jewelry, Ball Watch, NewsCenter 10, Fly 92.3, and the Times Union.

The Travers Celebration has raised more than $1 million for non-profit organizations in the thoroughbred industry and throughout the greater Capital Region since its inception over a decade ago.

Founded in 1989, the Backstretch Employee Service Team is a nonprofit organization which provides free health and social services to the backstretch communities at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.

The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides financial assistance to some 60 former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Since its founding in 2006, the fund has disbursed over $5 million to permanently disabled jockeys, most of whom have sustained paralysis or brain injuries.  To continue its mission the PDJF relies on donations and support from the horse racing industry.    
The Times Union Hope Fund, a component fund of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, raises money and awards grants to after school and summer programs serving at risk children in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties.

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