When Plainridge Park hosts the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot on Sunday (July 24), the fourth race has been named “The Standardbred Transition Alliance Pace” in an effort to draw attention to the mission and important work this organization does on behalf of retired Standardbreds. And to show how much the racing community in Massachusetts cares about making sure every retired Standardbred finds a home and career after racing, the track is making a collaborative donation to lead by example in this nationwide effort.
Plainridge Park, the Harness Horseman’s Association of New England, the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts and the New England Amateur Harness Drivers Club have partnered to make a direct donation of $10,000 to the Standardbred Transition Alliance (STA).
“Everyone who races Standardbreds in Massachusetts understands the importance of the health and well-being of our horses and they all expend a lot of time and money to keep them sound and fit while they race," said Steve O’Toole, Director of Racing at Plainridge Park. "But it’s equally important to make sure these animals have a safe and secure future once they retire from the track. So the four main groups who represent all our horsemen and women want to make this donation on behalf of everyone racing here to show the collective concern for our equine athletes as they transition into their next phase of life.”
There will also be the opportunity for all visiting horsemen and women and fans to help retired racehorses on Sunday by making their own donation to the STA at the track. All monies collected will go directly to the organization and everyone who contributes will be entered into a free random drawing for a 2022 Hambletonian package that includes two admissions, VIP Tent tickets, programs and hats, all donated by the Hambletonian Society. The Hambletonian will be held at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday, Aug. 6.
The Standardbred Transition Alliance is a non-profit organization with federal 501(c)(3) status whose mission is to accredit, inspect and award grants to approved organizations that acquire, rehabilitate, train and re-home Standardbreds. Funding is generated across the spectrum of the Standardbred industry and includes regulatory agencies, horsemen’s groups, tracks, sales companies, farms, and individuals who participate as trainers, drivers, owners, and breeders.