Anonymous $200,000 donation to CA backstretch workers

Ceremonial check presented at Santa Anita Park

The California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation, which benefits the some 5,000 backstretch workers and family members involved in Thoroughbred horse racing throughout the state, has announced that a donor who prefers to remain anonymous recently made a contribution of $200,000.

Trainer John Sadler was integral in securing the donation from a Thoroughbred owner he worked with for many years. “It is one of the largest donations we have received,” said Kevin Bolling, the CTHF’s executive director.

A ceremonial check presentation was held after the fourth race last Friday at Santa Anita Park.

The term backstretch refers to the stable area where horses are housed. At most racing facilities, the stable area is located behind the backstretch part of the track. The people who work there and often live there include assistant trainers, foremen, grooms, hot walkers, and exercise riders.

The CTHF, a non-profit founded in 1983 by legendary trainer Noble Threewitt, who died in 2010 at the age of 99, provides medical, dental and vision care and numerous social services. It operates the Noble Threewitt Medical Clinic located on the grounds of Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., as well as clinics at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood and two Northern California tracks, Golden Gate Field and Pleasanton.

The CTHF also has provides medical services at Del Mar in San Diego County and the racetracks on California’s thoroughbred county fair circuit. The main source of funds for the CTHF in the past has been a percentage of the money from unclaimed wagering tickets.

“But with Internet wagering becoming more prevalent and attendance at racetracks declining, we are now depending more on donations from individuals, the racetracks, and other foundations,” Bolling said. “It is very important that we are able to continue fulfilling our mission of bettering the quality of life for backstretch workers and their dependents.”