Friday, March 29, 2013 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., March 29, 2013 – The 5-year-old Thoroughbred St. Armands was not the only horse to emerge a winner in the inaugural BCTC International Catch a Riding Star challenge race at Turfway Park last Saturday. The retired racehorses used for teaching at the North American Racing Academy (NARA) in Lexington, Ky., gained $20,008 from the race in donations from Turfway Park and the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (KHBPA).
The BCTC International Catch a Riding Star challenge race, run March 23 on the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes undercard, pitted graduates of jockey schools from around the world against graduates of NARA, the only school of its kind in the United States. Turfway Park and the KHBPA donated their share of money wagered on the race--the takeout--to help support the 15 to 18 retired racehorses stabled at NARA that give students hands-on experience in equine business management, equine science, training, and race riding.
Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) provided title sponsorship for the BCTC International Catch a Riding Star challenge race. NARA, founded in 2006 by Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, is part of the college's Equine Program, which includes not only courses related to equine management but also general education courses required of all students in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. NARA graduates earn a two-year associate's degree or a one-year certificate in Equine Studies from BCTC.
Takeout usually is split between the purse fund available to horsemen, represented by the KHBPA, and the racetrack. Turfway's share amounted to $9,983 of the total donation, while the KHBPA contributed $10,025.
Riding St. Armands and representing Team USA was apprentice jockey Mallory Strandberg; the challenge race was her second career win. Team World captain Mathieu Adam, who attended jockey school in France, was second aboard Simon Ridge. Team USA captain Ben Creed was third aboard the even-money favorite Ful Da Funk. Following were mounts ridden by Fabienne De Geer (Sweden), Adam Bowman (USA); Aparna Das Battula (India), Natalie Turner (USA), and Martin Seidl (Germany).