Kentucky Derby winning trainer Todd Pletcher is to donate the value of his Derby prize – a Dodge Ram truck – to racehorse rehoming charities Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and New Vocations.
In a field of 20, Always Dreaming was sent off as the favouriteat Churchill Downs on Saturday, and he took the lead early before going on to win by 2 ¾ lengths. The three-year-old colt has won all four of his starts in 2017. His next start will come in the second leg of the Triple Crown, Preakness Stakes on May 20.
“I will definitely take the truck, because it has significant sentimental meaning to me to do that. But I’d like to donate the value of the truck to Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and New Vocations,” Pletcher said after the race.
“It is a very important cause for us to take care of our retired racehorses. And so, like I said, I want to keep the truck. But I’m happy to make that donation.”
New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program operates four facilities for Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds and relies on donations to help with operating costs. The TAA awards grants to its accredited aftercare facilities across the country.
Pletcher has been a supporter of both organisations for several years.
The exact value of the donation has not been revealed, but Dodge Ram trucks retail for between about $26,500 and $62,000.
The day after the Derby, Pletcher met with New Vocations director Anna Ford, who said: “His endorsement alone has been huge, and he’s always financially supported us as well. So those two things alone have helped New Vocations move forward in ways that he’ll never know.”
She said the Zayat family had also gifted a percentage of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah’s earnings in the second half of 2015 to New Vocations.