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At the races

Pat Day to visit Charles Town

Pat Day to visit Charles Town

October 01, 2006|by LARRY YANOS

Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, a born-again Christian, will visit Charles Town Races & Slots in two weeks as a spokesman for the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America.

Chaplain Rick Mann, who heads the Charles Town division of the organization, is delighted Day, who retired from race riding last year, is heading to the West Virginia thoroughbred racetrack.

"Pat is well-respected in the industry and is deeply involved with the national chaplaincy," Mann said.

"He'll be at Charles Town on Friday, Oct. 13, to sign some posters, meet fans and participate in a race trophy presentation with the assistance of past presidents of Racetrack Chaplaincy of America," he said. "On Saturday (Oct. 14), he'll be the guest at the Breakfast of Champions at the Charles Town racetrack. On Sunday, he'll be the guest at a prayer breakfast, also at the racetrack."

Mann said tickets for the general public are available by calling 304-725-4028 or 304-283-0036.

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The Racetrack Chaplaincy of America has been in existence for 25 years.

"A lot of programs are being established for those in need," Mann said. "There are now chaplaincies at nearly 100 racetracks in the country. And we are branching out to Australia, England and other countries around the world. Pat's goal is to visit every chaplaincy."

The goal of the organization is to improve the lifestyle of people on the backstretch.

"We deal a lot with social service type things, substance abuse and anger management," Mann said. "We're there to help those in need."

Day has graciously lent a helping hand to the organization and has become even more involved since retiring from race riding.

The Colorado native retired with 8,803 career victories, fourth on the all-time win list, and $297,941,912 in earnings. He also holds the record for earnings in Breeders' Cup races of $22,913,360 with 12 wins.

Day is the only jockey to have ridden in each of the first 20 Breeders' Cups. He also has nine wins in Triple Crown races: The 1992 Kentucky Derby on Lil E. Tee, five victories in the Preakness Stakes and three wins in the Belmont Stakes.

He even won the Canadian Triple Crown on the filly Dance Smartly in 1991 and went on to win the Breeders' Cup Distaff with her later in the year.

Day is the all-time leading rider at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., with 2,481 wins - including 155 stakes victories - and has had five winners on a card 21 times there.

He also set a North American record in 1989 when he won eight races out of nine in one day at Arlington Park.

Day was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1991, has won the Eclipse Award for leading jockey in 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1991, received the George Woolf Memorial Award in 1985, and received the Mike Venezia Memorial Award in 1995. He is also a past president of the Jockey's Guild.

W.Va. Breeders Classics

Charles Town will host the 20th annual West Virginia Breeders Classics on Oct. 14.

National Football League Hall of Famer Sam Huff, president of the West Virginia Breeders Classics, Ltd., said the total purses for this year will exceed $1.45 million.

Eight races for accredited West Virginia-bred runners complete the night's program. Post time is 7:15 pm.

The lineup:

$100,000 Triple Crown Nutrition for 2-year-old fillies at 4 1/2 furlongs.

$100,000 Vincent Moscarelli Memorial for 2-year-olds colts and geldings at 6 1/2 furlongs.

$100,000 Division of Tourism or 3-year-old fillies at 7 furlongs.

$100,000 Lottery Breeders Classics for 3-year-old colts and geldings at 7 furlongs.

$100,000 Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Dash for Cash at 4 1/2 furlongs.

$100,000 Onion Juice for colts and geldings 3 years old and up at 7 furlongs.

$350,000 Jefferson Security Bank Cavada for fillies and mares 3 years old and up at 7 furlongs.

$500,000 Breeders Classic for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 mile.

Hollywood Casino

Last Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board gave approval to Penn National in Grantville, Pa., for a conditional Category 1 slot machine license for the placement of slot machines at its Hollywood Casino racing and gaming facility.

"The board gave permission to five different racetracks in the state," Penn National publicity director Fred Lipkin said. "We had submitted an application for consideration and hoped for the best."

Penn National commenced construction of Hollywood Casino in August. The project's $310 million budget includes a $50 million license fee and $260 million for construction and the purchase of an initial 2,000 gaming devices.

Penn National anticipates opening Hollywood Casino by early 2008.

The Hollywood Casino will be a five-story, 365,000 square-foot facility and will have capacity for 3,000 slot machines.

Lipkin said the amenities for the initial phase of the project include: A food court with three restaurants; a sports bar; track side dining and various concessions to serve the racing area; entertainment, bar and lounge areas on the gaming level; and a five-story parking garage with valet service parking.

Larry Yanos is sports editor of The Daily Mail. He covers horse racing for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131 or by e-mail at larryy@herald-mail.com

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