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August 30, 2018


by Mike Henry
By donating a portion of their earnings, bettors at Tampa Bay Downs can assist retired Thoroughbreds through a joint venture between the racetrack, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and AmTote International.

Horseplayers cashing winning tickets at Tampa Bay Downs can now share their good fortune with retired Thoroughbreds by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance at self-service AmTote International betting terminals throughout the facility.

Anyone cashing a winning ticket through a self-service terminal will be prompted with a pop-up interface developed by AmTote International, allowing them to make a donation to the TAA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

If the bettor chooses to donate, the terminal will issue a receipt indicating both the donation amount as well as the TAA’s 501(c)(3) identification number. The remaining balance will be issued in the form of a voucher.

One hundred percent of all donations made through AmTote terminals will go toward TAA efforts. Based in Lexington, Ky., the TAA accredits, inspects, and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations that retrain, retire, and re-home Thoroughbreds. Currently 64 organizations hold TAA accreditation and receive funding from the TAA in the form of annual grants earmarked for equine care.

“We are excited to partner with the TAA and AmTote in providing our players an opportunity to support the Thoroughbred athletes who bring us so much joy once their racing careers have ended,” said Peter Berube, the Oldsmar oval’s Vice President-General Manager.

“Tampa Bay Downs and its horsemen are strong supporters of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, which strives to provide racehorses with valuable second careers and dignified retirements,” Berube said. “We are proud of our relationship with the TAA and believe our patrons share our admiration and respect for the stars of our show.”

TAA president John Phillips thanked Tampa Bay Downs for its participation in the fledgling program and emphasized the benefits to the sport’s equine population.

“The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is grateful for the support from Tampa Bay Downs and AmTote International,” Phillips said. “This technology offers a convenient, non-intrusive, and streamlined experience. Funds raised from this program will help the TAA continue to support our 64 accredited Thoroughbred aftercare organizations with approximately 170 facilities in North America.”

AmTote International president Keith Johnson also expressed his enthusiasm for the endeavor. “We at AmTote very much appreciate the longstanding relationship we have had with our Tampa Bay Downs customer, and are excited to now expand this new technology with them and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance,” Johnson said.

“This is a great cause that we remain thrilled to participate in, along with the growing industry momentum and interest (generated).”

Along with continued funding from its original partners Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, the TAA is supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, sales companies, aftercare professionals, horseplayers, and other industry members.

Tampa Bay Downs is open daily for Thoroughbred simulcasting, no-limits poker and tournament play in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility. The 2018-2019 Thoroughbred race meeting resumes on Saturday, Nov. 24 and runs through Sunday, May 5.