St. Mary’s Announces Inaugural Jockey & Horseman’s Ball at Belmont Park to Honor Champion Jockey, Ramon Dominguez

One week before the Kentucky Derby, the thoroughbred community directs its attention to supporting St. Mary’s vital programs and services for children with special needs.

Just days before the first jewel in the Triple Crown, Kentucky Derby hopefuls and fans are focused on helping children with special needs.  On Sunday, May 1, 2011 with support from the New York Racing Association (NYRA), Michael and Maria Repole, and the thoroughbred community, St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, New York’s leading provider of long-term care for children with special needs, will host the inaugural St. Mary’s Jockey and Horseman’s Ball at Belmont Park.  During the evening, top jockey Ramon A. Dominguez will be honored for his dedication to St. Mary’s Kids. 

Mr. Dominguez, the recipient of the 2010 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey, awarded annually to North America’s top rider, first met St. Mary’s kids in 2009 when he paraded his horse onto the track at Aqueduct for the start of a race and saw four remarkable St. Mary’s children in the Winner’s Circle. After the race, he rushed over to meet them and has been St. Mary’s champion ever since. 

The Jockey and Horseman’s Ball celebrates the continued partnership between the thoroughbred community and St. Mary’s to support their ongoing efforts to provide intensive rehabilitation and specialized care for children with special needs and life-limiting conditions. 

“We’re proud to be a community partner of St. Mary’s and help shine a spotlight on the importance of their work in helping children with serious illness and injury, and their families, lead healthier and happier lives,” said Charles Hayward, NYRA President and CEO.  “Our relationship, which began with a single Walk event at Belmont Park in 2008, has expanded into a growing and dynamic partnership for the children.”

“St. Mary’s is grateful for the ongoing support from our friends at NYRA and the thoroughbred racing community at large,” remarked Jeffrey Frerichs, St. Mary’s President and CEO.  “Working together, we are improving the health and quality of life for children with special needs.

The Ball has garnered the support of local philanthropists, community leaders and members of the horse community, including Honorary Committee Chair, Charles E. Hayward, NYRA President and CEO.  Committee members include Joanne K. Adams, Director of Community Relations for NYRA; Alice and Anthony Calabrese, Simplex of Middle Village, Inc.; Jennifer and Gary Contessa; Sharon Dominguez; Anthony J. Ficara, Ficara & Associates, PC; Jeffrey K. Frerichs, St. Mary’s President and CEO; Michael Genovese, Holy Cross High School; Carol Hunt; Letty McLaughlin; Elise Merhige, Constellation NY; Tracy Pletcher; Linda Rice, Linda Rice Racing; Rudy Rodriguez, Thoroughbred Trainer; Terry Whalen, Sterling Sign Company; and Richard A. Violette, Jr., President, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

Event sponsors include Michael and Maria Repole; The New York Racing Association, Inc.; Mike Sapraicone and Squad Security; New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Inc.; Elise and Jeff DeJoseph; Tony and Alice Calabrese, Simplex of Middle Village, Inc.; Jennifer and Gary Contenssa; Kiaran and Letty McLaughlin, Kiaran McLaughlin Racing Stables; and Todd and Tracy Pletcher, Todd A. Pletcher Racing Stable.

While the evening celebrates Dominguez’s accomplishments for St. Mary’s Kids, no doubt there will be Derby buzz with the recent announcement that Dominguez will ride Repole’s Stay Thirsty on May 7th who is trained by Todd Pletcher.

The Jockey and Horseman’s Ball will be held at Belmont Park’s Turf & Field Club, which captures the glamour and ambiance of a private club and offers a panoramic view of Belmont Racetrack.  Additional events at Belmont include the Walk for St. Mary’s Kids and Family Fun Day on Sunday, May 22, 2011.

Following hospitalizations in acute care facilities for complications from premature birth, illness, and injury, or when special services are needed, children and their families come to St. Mary’s to receive care, learn to manage their illness or injury, and achieve a better quality of life.  As the largest provider of long-term home healthcare for children in New York State and one of the nation’s leading providers of pediatric post-acute care, St. Mary’s provides a continuum of care treating 4,000 children each day throughout the metropolitan area through a network of inpatient, home care, and community programs and services, setting a standard of excellence in pediatric healthcare.

U.S. News and World Report recently ranked St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children as one of New York’s top facilities for skilled nursing in their 2011 Best Nursing Home review, receiving a perfect 15-star rating.  St. Mary’s was one of only six facilities to achieve this honor.

For more information on St. Mary’s Jockey and Horseman’s Ball and upcoming events, please contact Angela Sculti at 718-281-8817.