Elmont, NY — The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) has announced the establishment of the Empire Racing Club, a non-profit organization designed to introduce fans to racehorse ownership. New York’s beloved retired racecaller Tom Durkin will serve as managing partner, and Eclipse Award-winner Todd Pletcher will be the Club trainer.
“We are committed to helping grow the sport of horse racing,” said Durkin, who is also a NYTHA Board Member. “We believe that the Empire Racing Club will offer a low-cost entry point to fans and potential new owners, with very little risk. My first experience in ownership was through a partnership syndicate, and both the camaraderie and shared enthusiasm encouraged me to pursue a greater involvement in the sport.”
Proceeds from the Empire Racing Club, a not-for-profit tax-exempt social club, will be used to pay the expenses of the horse and the Club. Any excess funds will be distributed to a 501 (c) (3) non-profit aftercare organization. The Club membership agreement specifically names New York’s TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program as the designee.
“It was very important to NYTHA that this Racing Club include an aftercare component,” explained NYTHA Executive Director Andy Belfiore. “We are very proud of the work that our TAKE THE LEAD Program has done in working with Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance accredited partners to find homes for the horses retiring from the NYRA tracks. We know our Club horses will be well cared for after their racing careers as well.”