It’s time to tally up the annual take of Del Mar’s so-called charity race days, representing the net proceeds required by law to be turned over for worthy causes during certain designated days of each meet. This year the swanky operation came up with an underwhelming total of $152,665. “Staff notes that 100% of the charity distribution is [to] Equine Related Charities,” according to a recent report to the California Horse Racing Board.
The largest contribution, $30,600, went to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund for those unfortunate enough to crack up during a race. “It is a public charity that currently provides financial assistance to approximately 60 former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries.” Coming in a close second with $25,500 was the California Retirement Management Account, which handles steeds and fillies lucky enough to survive the rigors of Del Mar long enough to be put out to pasture. “It is dedicated to the goal of providing funding for their rehabilitation, retraining and/or retirement.”
On the rail in third place with $25,000 was the California Center for Equine Health and Performance. Located at UC Davis, the center “serves as the West Coast’s quarantine and treatment station for the potentially devastating venereal disease contagious equine metritis.” On a higher note, the faith-based lives of Del Mar’s backstretch workers placed fourth, with a somewhat meager $14,000 going to the Racing Track Chaplaincy, which “ministers to the spiritual, emotional, physical and social/educational needs of horse racing’s workers.”