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The Travers Celebration Returns to Celebrate Mid-Summer Derby

By Eric Wing; Mark Bardack | 08/10/2013 06:47 PM ET

Retired jockey Ramon Dominguez to serve as honorary guest

The 13th annual Travers Celebration will return this summer to support the Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.), the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and the Times Union Hope Fund on Thursday, August 22 from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at Saratoga Race Course.

The official party of the $1 million Travers will take place just two days before the 144th edition of the Mid-Summer Derby.

This year's event will honor three-time Eclipse Award Outstanding Jockey winner Ramon Dominguez, who announced his retirement in June following injuries sustained in an accident at Aqueduct Racetrack in January 2013. During his career, Dominguez won 4,985 races and earned nearly $200 million in purses.

Sponsored by The New York Racing Association, Inc., Metropolitan Aviation, Ketel One Vodka, Northeastern Fine Jewelry, Ball Watch, the Mercedes-Benz Center at Keeler Motor Car, NewsCenter 10, Fly 92.3, and the Times Union,the elaborate cocktail reception will feature exquisite food stations and beverage offerings, and dancing to live music from the New York Players. The evening will also include a silent auction.

The 2013 Travers Celebration is co-chaired by Mr. George R. Hearst III, Publisher and CEO of the Times Union newspaper; and Mrs. Sharon Dominguez, wife of honorary guest Ramon Dominguez.

Tickets are available for $175 per person and $125 for young adults (under 30). Tables may be reserved for $2500 per table of 10, which includes complimentary wine. Tickets are available for purchase online at here or by phone at (518) 383-6183. Credit cards accepted are Visa, Mastercard and Discover. 

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.

The 144th edition of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers will be run on Saturday, August 24. For up-to-date information on the Travers Celebration and other special events, please visit here.