by Pat McKenna
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today celebrated women and their contributions to the thoroughbred industry while raising funds to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) during Fabulous Fillies Day at Saratoga Race Course.
As a new element to the annual event, NYRA welcomed local breast cancer survivors to the winner's circle before several races on the day's card in partnership with To Life!, a Capital Region non-profit organization which provides personalized breast cancer education and support services.
NYRA and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) presented a $10,600 donation to the BCRF through Play for P.I.N.K. following the day's third race, which was named in honor of the organization.
All jockeys in the third race worepink armbands to commemorate the occasion, and all horses entered were outfitted with pink saddle cloths.
"Fabulous Fillies Day is not only a time to celebrate the role of women in our sport, but also to raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer. We were also pleased to welcome local breast cancer survivors to the winner's circle to recognize them for their courage and strength," said NYRA Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Lynn LaRocca. "We thank fans who joined us on this special daycommemorating women for their contributions to racing and honoring the work of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and To Life!"
Racing fans don stylish outfits during second annual "Best in Pink" fashion contest
The Fabulous Fillies Day celebration included the second annual "Best in Pink" fashion contest, which invited fans to wear their most fashionable outfit - prominently featuring pink - for the chance to win a special prize package valued at approximately $2,000.
Holly Michaelson of Delmar, NY, who was also one of the breast cancer survivors recognized in the winner's circle in association with To Life!, was declared the winner of the women's category, while Bev Hendry of Ocala, FL, was the victor among men for the second consecutive year. Both received a $500 vineyard vines gift card; $500 in vineyard vines merchandise; and a 750 ml bottle of Moet & Chandon rose champagne.
Sizzling Hot Pink Saratoga Hat Luncheon benefits Breast Cancer Research Foundation
The Sizzling Hot Pink Saratoga Hat Luncheon, presented by vineyard vines and Moet & Chandon, along with Saratoga Living, took place in the At the Rail Pavilion. Guests enjoyed a champagne reception hosted by Moet & Chandon and a boutique featuring Bow River Jewelry, Lifestyles of Saratoga and TOGA Heritage. A portion of proceeds from boutique sales were donated to BCRF through Play for P.I.N.K.
This year's luncheon honored Vivien Malloy, owner of Edition Farm and secretary and treasurer of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders. Emmy-nominated reporter and breast cancer survivor Mary Morin Carlin emceed the event.
The luncheon featured guest speaker Larry Norton, MD, leading the discussion Breast Cancer: How We Are Winning the Race. Currently the Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Breast Cancer Programs at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Medical Director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center, Dr. Norton has served as Scientific Director of BCRF since its inception in 1993.
All proceeds from tickets sales benefitted BCRF through Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New Technology, Knowledge), a grassroots organization dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer research by creating and promoting awareness of the disease through sporting and lifestyle events. PFP's commitment is to contribute 100% of all proceeds to its sole beneficiary, BCRF, to fund the world's top researchers. In 2017, PFP donated $4.6 million to BCRF, which will support at least 18 research projects. For more information, visit www.playforpink.org.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) is dedicated to being the end of breast cancer by advancing the world's most promising research. Founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, BCRF-funded investigators have been deeply involved in every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. This year, BCRF awarded $59.5 million to support the work of more than 275 scientists at leading medical and academic institutions across 15 countries, making BCRF the largest private funder of breast cancer research worldwide. BCRF is the highest rated breast cancer organization in the U.S.-the only one with an "A+" from CharityWatch and Charity Navigator's highest rating of four stars. Visit www.bcrf.org to learn more.
To Life! provides education and support services for individuals who are dealing with breast cancer. With locations in Delmar and Saratoga Springs, NY, the organization serves a 10-county area including Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington counties.
The 2018 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 3. For more information, visit NYRA.com.