MILTON, October 29, 2019 – The inaugural Breeders Crown Charity Challenge came to a close this past Friday with the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society taking home $109,484 as part of a Woodbine Cares record one-time donation of $282,996 in donations to five local charities.
“We are so humbled by the contributions and donations made by so many people throughout the Standardbred racing community in the US and Canada,” said Jessica Buckley, President, Woodbine Mohawk Park. “This all started as a great idea by Marvin Katz and it far surpassed all of our expectations. It truly is a reflection of the great people in our industry and the power of working together. These donations will positively impact many lives.”
The Breeders Crown Charity Challenge launched in June and featured four teams consisting of a celebrity, a charity of their choosing, and an award-winning three-year-old Standardbred. Each charity is received one per cent of their horse’s earnings from June 1 through Oct. 26.
Along with the horse’s earnings, a breeding auction was held in Lexington, Kentucky in early-October to raise funds for the challenge. Exceeding expectations, more than $200,000 in funds was raised through the auction, allowing Woodbine Cares to make larger donations to each charity.
Each team competed to garner the most votes in a Facebook poll, which closed on October 24, with the winning team receiving the largest portion of the funds raised for their charity.
A special presentation was held during Friday’s Breeders Crown card to recognize the charities and unveil their donation amounts. Marvin Katz, a presenting sponsor for the Breeders Crown, came up with the idea for the Charity Challenge and joined in presenting cheques to each charity.
In recognition of Katz, Woodbine Cares Foundation donated $50,000 to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre in the presenting sponsor’s name.
The Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, celebrity Dan Plesac (former MLB pitcher) and their horse Captain Crunch received the most votes to win the Charity Challenge and earn $109,484 ($100,000 + earnings).
— Woodbine – Mohawk Park (@WoodbineSB) October 26, 2019
Kim MacDonald (Weather Network personality) and her horse Woodside Charm finished second in the voting to earn $80,000 for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada.
The other two charities in the challenge received a last-minute boost to their earnings courtesy of Breeders Crown victories by their horses.
Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons (Toronto Argonauts General Manager and former CFL player) teamed up with Warrawee Ubeaut to earn $33,831 ($25,000 + earnings) for the Pinball Clemons Foundation, while Eddie Olczyk (former NHL player) and Gimpanzee collected $9,681 (earnings) for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
A total of $282,996 was donated to five local charities through the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge and this could not have been accomplished without the support and generosity of the following individuals and groups.
The Captaintreacherous Syndicate, Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, Hanover Shoe Farms
Always B Miki, Father Patrick and Sweet Lou
Adam Bowden, Diamond Creek Farms
Michael Klau, Southwind Farms
Tom Grossman, Blue Chip Farms
Kevin Greenfield, Southwind Farms
Courant Inc, SRF Stable, Marcus Melander
Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, J & T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi
3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, Caviart Farms, Nancy Johansson