Multi-Purpose Center at Belmont Park Coming Along

CHAPLAINCY MAKING PROGRESS WITH FUND-RAISING EFFORT FOR MULTI-PURPOSE CENTER AT BELMONT PARK

The New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America (NYRTCA) announced today that it has passed the halfway mark in its ongoing effort to raise funds necessary to build a multi-purpose building and chapel on the grounds of Belmont Park in Elmont, NY.

The 5,000-square foot facility will cost approximately $800,000 to build, according to Humberto Chavez, the chaplain in New York.

Personal donations of $100,000 have been made by Lisa and Kenny Troutt of WinStar Farm, Kristine and Chris Kay, New York Racing Association (NYRA) CEO & President and Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson.

Horse owner Michael Dubb, who donated the two trailers where the Chaplaincy is currently housed, has pledged his donation in building materials for the entire facility.

Chavez said that ground-breaking ceremonies for the Chaplaincy Center are tentatively scheduled for the Spring of 2019 with a completion date targeted for the Fall of 2019.

“To have a facility like this has been a dream of mine for the past 15 years,” he said. “Thanks to those who have already made commitments and to those who will be doing so, the backstretch community will now have a place where people can relax, unwind, worship and learn new skills.”

The New York chaplaincy was created in 1986. It ministers to the needs of backstretch community at the NYRA racetracks (Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course) through a wide variety of programs. They include enrichment programs for children, social service programs, recreational programs, educational opportunities and non-denominational religious services.

“Our services have continued to grow through the years and we’ve just outgrown the two trailers we’ve been using as our headquarters,” Chavez said.
Chavez, who was named chaplain in 2003, said he shared his dream with Chris Kay shortly after the 2018 Belmont Stakes. “We discussed how much the backstretch needed a building like this and he quickly said, ‘Let’s make it happen.’”

The new facility will include office space for the Chaplain and his staff, areas for recreation, non-denominational worship, and confidential counseling. There will also be a storage area for the food pantry, and a room to be known as the Cot Classroom, in honor of the late Cot Campbell, a Thoroughbred owner and longtime NYRTCA supporter who passed away in October 2018.

The classroom will be used as a learning center where backstretch workers can learn about financial literacy, computer skills, citizenship issues, social advocacy programs, and cultural learning opportunities.

“Kris and I greatly appreciate the important work of the NY Racetrack Chaplaincy, which provides impactful spiritual services and resources for the backstretch community,” said NYRA CEO & President Chris Kay. ““That is why my wife and I are so pleased to be able to make a personal contribution to support the construction of a new and permanent headquarters at Belmont Park that will properly reflect the central role the Chaplaincy plays in the lives of so many.”

Chavez said that fund-raising efforts are ongoing and that numerous sponsorship opportunities, up to and including the naming of the center, are available. Those interested in making a donation, taking a sponsorship, or further information can write to Nancy Kelly, Board President, at nankelly52@gmail.com or call (516) 287-3289 or visit this link.

The New York chaplaincy is supported by its major sponsors: NYRA, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, The Thoroughbred Charities of America, the Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation, and the New York Women’s Foundation, as well as by other foundations and numerous individuals.

Source: Press Release

Sports Betting May Not Happen Quickly Despite SCOTUS Ruling

Sports bettingDespite the state Legislature paving the way for sports gambling almost five years ago, regulators in New York tasked with implementing a framework for the industry appear to be in a holding pattern following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a limit on the states that can offer sports gambling.

Source: Sports gambling maybe not imminent despite SCOTUS ruling

The Saratoga Horse Racing Getaway

By Rich Nilsen

Not only will the finest Thoroughbred racing of the summer take place at Saratoga, but the upstate New York location is one of the best vacation getaways in the country. There’s plenty to do both before and after the races in the Adirondack region, so let’s take a peek at what is available to the lucky fans who get to venture north to one of the beautiful areas of the country.

Saratoga is a town of just over 27,000 inhabitants that lies 30 minutes north of Albany airport on Route 87. For six weeks out of the year, the area comes alive as racing enthusiasts converge from all over into the little city.

Hotels rates more than triple during this peak season, but there are two affordable alternatives. The first is to stay in Albany or Glen Falls, both nearby locations. Or, for adventurous souls, camping is available at several closer sites. Reservations should be made as soon as possible, regardless of where you will stay.

Saratoga canopy walk through As for racing-related activities, the best is the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Located one block from Saratoga racetrack, the museum is devoted to U.S. racing history and the lineage of horses who competed here. There are tons of trophies and photographs among the many exhibits, and a free movie is offered to visitors. Inside the entrance of the museum is one of the finest gift shops ever devoted to racing.  It’s not big but it’s jam-packed with many great items.  The doors open at 9 a.m. during the racing season and admission is $7.

Another recommended activity is breakfast at Saratoga racetrack.  With binoculars in one hand and a fork in the other, you can gaze at the beautiful Thoroughbreds at work while enjoying a fabulous meal. Does it get any better? An announcer usually narrates during the morning activities. There is no dress code, so any attire will do. Also, backstretch tours are available each morning.  The walking tours are every day, expect Travers, cost $3 per person and begin at 9:30am.

For those of you who can’t get enough of the horses or gambling in general, Saratoga Harness, runs the entire month of August with a post time of 7:05 p.m.  The only dark days are Sunday and Monday.  This year marks the 75th annual race meet.

Evenings are the perfect time for non-racing related activities.  The Saratoga Performing Arts Center is celebrating its 50th Golden Anniversary this year.  With its large, covered amphitheater, the SPAC features various types of entertainers, from pop and rock groups to classical ensembles. The National Museum of Dance and the Yaddo Gardens are two other popular attractions in Saratoga, especially for the ladies who are accompanying you to the region.

A trip here is not complete without an evening stroll through downtown Saratoga, browsing through the many stores.  There are numerous good bars and restaurants, including the Old Bryan Inn, which I highly recommend.

Several fun events are scheduled during Travers Week, August 27. Taste of NY: Craft Beer is on the Friday before the Travers and, not surprisingly, a very popular event. “Street Fest,” which offers live entertainment and performances, runs from Wednesday through Saturday each night in downtown.  The downtown is ‘hoppin’ and it’s a must visit for every racegoer.

The town of Lake George is less than 40 minutes away and is highly recommended for anyone visiting the Adirondack region. Fort William Henry, which played a big role in the French & Indian War, lies in the heart of the town overlooking the beautiful, crystal-clear lake that stretches for about 30 miles.

Besides sun-tanning or swimming on the local beaches, Lake George offers various water activities, including parasailing, water skiing, jet skiing, boat tours and steamboat trips. The main strip in Lake George has too many stores to count, as well as many excellent restaurants with great views. There are also outlet stores in the area that are ideal for a spouse who doesn’t share the same enthusiasm for racing.  One of the best is the outlet center just off the N.Y. Thruway, entering into the Lake George area.

There is little doubt why visitors keep coming back year after year to the Adirondack region. Not only is the setting of upstate New York beautiful, but there are numerous activities to complement a fabulous race meet.  If you have never been there, make plans to experience Saratoga and everything the region has to offer.

 

— Rich Nilsen, a native New Yorker, has written a report “Beat Saratoga – 7 Tips to Turning a Profit.”  Download it today

 

DraftKings, FanDuel May Have to Return Money to New York Players

Sports betting New York attorney general sues to get DraftKings, FanDuel to return money New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (pronounced SHNEYE’-dur-muhn) is turning up the heat on a pair of daily fantasy sports websites.
Officials confirm Schneiderman filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking that FanDuel and DraftKings give back all the money the sites made in New York state.… [Read more…]