Friday, November 14, 2008


AQUEDUCT NOTES, Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008


The Race Track Chaplaincy is asking for help in providing Thanksgiving turkeys and other food items for backstretch families.

The Chaplaincy had hoped to begin distributing 100 turkeys next Friday, November 21, at Belmont Park. It has, however, already received more requests—and fewer turkeys than usual.

Gifts of turkeys, chickens, gift cards, hams and all sorts of nonperishable food are needed at the Belmont Park Race Track food pantry (2150 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont , N.Y., Gate 6; telephone: (516) 488-6000, ext 4063). Items may be delivered Monday through Friday, anytime between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.


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You probably can guess that it is every jockey’s dream to win the Kentucky Derby – but did you know that Alan Garcia’s favorite movie is “Cinderella Man?”

Racing fans can now get up close and personal with New York’s top riders by watching the new “Jockey Video Cards” now available on the official NYRA YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/nyravideo.

Although but few minutes in length, the amusing interviews are both candid and revealing. In addition to Garcia, winner of the 2008 Belmont Stakes aboard Da’ Tara, the video cards also feature Javier Castellano (he’s a Mets fan), Eibar Coa, Channing Hill, Mike Luzzi, Rajiv Maragh (his dream vacation is fishing and playing poker on the beach), John Velazquez, and Richard Milgiore (whose hero is Johnny Unitas).

Launched earlier this year, the NYRA Youtube channel playlists also features Trips & Traps, an insider’s look at horses to watch -- or watch out for. Join hosts Andy Serling and Eric Donovan as they scrutinize race replays for information that’s not in the past performances, and show fans how to use it to their advantage.

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Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens’ first order of business after being released Wednesday morning from Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation Center was to visit his barn at Belmont Park.

“He came home, and said, ‘I’d like to see the horses’,” said his wife, Elizabeth. “We drove him to the barn and he sat on the bench outside, and they brought out every single one of the horses for him.”

Jerkens, 79, was admitted to Long Island Jewish Hospital in New Hyde Park last month with shortness of breath, then underwent surgery to repair two heart valves on October 20 and had a pacemaker installed eight days later.


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