Imperative won the 2014 Charles Town Classic. Photo by Coady Photography.

Imperative won the 2014 Charles Town Classic. Photo by Coady Photography.

Nutshell: For the seventh straight year, Charles Town Races will donate to the group that seeks to transition former race horses into new careers off the racetrack.

From a Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races release

While Saturday, April 18 will see the seventh running of the $1,500,000 Charles Town Classic (G2) take place, it will also mark another renewal coinciding with the race as CANTER Mid-Atlantic will receive grant funding from Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races for the seventh consecutive year.  The $10,000 donation will be made in a check presentation during the Charles Town Classic card and will assist CANTER in furthering its ongoing programs and mission to help transition former race horses into their new careers off the racetrack.  Both the additional funds and renewed commitment by Charles Town will enable CANTER Mid-Atlantic to grow from a free race horse sales listing service and race horse rehab provider to an emergency care provider for at-risk race horses it would otherwise have been forced to turn away.

“On average, we have seen four former CANTER Mid-Atlantic horses – either Charles Town Races track listings or ex-racehorses that have gone through our Phase II training program compete in recognized events throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including Rolex in Lexington, Kentucky,” noted CANTER Mid-Atlantic Executive Director, Allie Conrad.  “That would not happen if it wasn’t for the wonderful dedication and support that we have received from Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.”

This year former Charles Town Races racehorse “Bo’s Shephard”, a 5 year-old gelding donated to CANTER Mid-Atlantic by his owner, will be demonstrating his new skills at the 2015 Retired Racehorse Program Makeover in Lexington, Kentucky.

The funds that Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races donates annually go directly to the care of horses in the CANTER Mid-Atlantic Phase II program that have come from owners and trainers stabled at Charles Town Races.

Having been granted access to the barn area for nearly two decades by Charles Town management, CANTER Mid-Atlantic’s volunteers have built strong relationships with not only track management, but also horse racing professionals on the backstretch. Those relationships have made it possible for CANTER Mid-Atlantic to assist trainers and owners in transitioning over 300 race horses a year into successful second careers using its free sales listing service.

“We continue to be grateful and appreciative of the tireless work CANTER Mid-Atlantic does in rehabilitating horses and putting them on the path to new careers once their racing days have ended,” said Charles Town’s Vice President of Racing Operations, Erich Zimny.  “We’re confident that CANTER will continue putting these resources to good use in helping horses having raced at Charles Town find new homes, much as they have the last several years.”

In addition to Charles Town again providing the grant to CANTER Mid-Atlantic, the organization will again be the presenting sponsor for the richest of the undercard stakes – the $150,000 Sugar Maple.  Since becoming the presenting sponsor of The Sugar Maple presented by CANTER Mid-Atlantic, the race has been won by Grade 1 winner and Eclipse Award finalist Dance to Bristol in 2013 and by multiple stakes winner Flattering Bea in its most recent renewal.

“This will be the seventh Charles Town Classic card and CANTER Mid-Atlantic has been an integral part of the event each and every time. Having them continue to serve as a presenting sponsor for the undercard’s most lucrative race is another step we hope can further expose people to the great work they do at Charles Town and in the region,” Zimny added.

Over the last several years, CANTER Mid-Atlantic has taken in over 380 retiring racehorses as funding allowed and successfully rehabilitated, retrained and placed them into caring homes.  Horses in CANTER Mid Atlantic’s care are boarded on farms deemed appropriate for the health and wellbeing of the horse.  CANTER Mid-Atlantic is currently managing the care of 24 ex-racehorses that have begun the rehabilitation and retraining process in order to prepare them for a second career. Financial support provided by Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races will continue to strengthen these efforts.

CANTER Mid-Atlantic volunteers regularly visit Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia, Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore, MD, Bowie Training Center in Bowie, MD and Laurel Race Course in Laurel, MD, to meet with trainers and owners of horses that are ready to retire from racing but are capable of beginning a second career.

Unlike prior years when the check presentation to CANTER Mid-Atlantic has been done during the evening, the 2015 rendition will take place during daylight hours as the Charles Town Classic card will get underway at a special afternoon post time of 12:45pm EST.