Moment in the sun for grooms, hotwalkers
by Eleanor Poppe
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) continued a deeply appreciated tradition on Friday, June 4, 2021 when it named a race in honor of the New York Race Track Chaplaincy, thus allowing the organization to pay tribute to the groom and hotwalker who care for the winning horse in that race.
The winning groom and hotwalker each received a trophy and a gift provided by the NY Chaplaincy as part of the winner’s circle ceremony.
“These are the people who dedicate their lives to caring for Thoroughbreds and we are immensely grateful to NYRA for partnering with us to honor them in this manner, as they have done for many years,” said chaplain Humberto Chavez. “These individuals are rarely in the limelight and this ceremony, as well as similar tributes conducted at Aqueduct and Saratoga Race Course, is a real morale-booster.”
Chavez added that approximately 800 stable workers reside on the Belmont Park backstretch and another 2,000 live off track.
The winning groom and hotwalker on June 4 were: Gustavo Solorio and Agripina Lara. They work for trainer, Bill Mott, who won the 1st race with a horse named Aunt Kat.
The New York Race Track Chaplaincy (www.rtcany.org) ministers to the heart and soul of the backstretch community and their families with children’s enrichment, social service, recreational and educational programs as well as non-denominational religious services.