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Around Saratoga

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Raising awareness for older horses

The New York Racing Association is hosting Thoroughbred Retirement Awareness Day on Aug. 18 at Saratoga Race Course, including an on-track dressage routine by ESPN’s Jeannine Edwards and donations to horse retirement and rescue organizations.

Edwards, part of the ABC broadcast team that won an Eclipse Award for the 2009 Belmont Stakes telecast, will team up with her dressage horse, Ashkal Way, to perform for the crowd at 12:35 p.m. They will be in the paddock at 12:20 p.m. that day.

Ashkal Way, an 8-year-old gelding, is no stranger to Saratoga, having won the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch in 2006. Edwards and Ashkal Way have combined to win dressage competitions in the Mid-Atlantic region.

In addition to the on-track activities, following the second race, NYRA will be donating $5,000 checks to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), Old Friends, and the Exceller Fund.

To raise awareness of horse retirement and rescue organizations, the following groups will also be handing out informational flyers and collecting donations in the community outreach booth and the area in front of the jockeys’ room: Exceller Fund, Old Friends, Peaceful Acres, Pure Thoughts, ReRun, and the TRF.

“We are thrilled to bring these groups on track and help raise awareness for a very important cause,” NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward said.

“It is terrific what they are doing to ensure a future after racing for our thoroughbreds, and I would encourage the Saratoga fans to come out and learn more about their initiatives,” Hayward said.

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