A year after the COVID-19 pandemic blurred the Triple Crown schedule, the sport will once again be in the national spotlight on the first Saturday in May with the 147th Kentucky Derby.
But as the nation’s top coaches take center stage at Churchill Downs, this is in stark contrast to 12 months earlier, when the race’s most prominent figures took full advantage of the federal government‘s paycheck protection program. .
According to public records reviewed by Asbury Park Press, some 14 trainers from this year’s Kentucky Derby received a total of $ 7.369 million from the program, which provided taxpayer-funded forgivable loans designed to help struggling small businesses. to retain their workers.
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The top 25 trainers on the earnings list in 2020, whose horses took home a total of $ 206.5 million on the track, secured loans totaling at least $ 10.4 million, while some of the top institutions sports benefited from the coronavirus rescue.
Brad Cox trains for Quality Essential for Godolphin LLC, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. Cox received a loan of $ 550,000.
Todd Pletcher has four horses entered, including the St. Elias Stable known as the racing operation of Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola. Pletcher got the second-highest payout among trainers nationwide at $ 1.294 million.
The biggest loan went to Chad Brown, the Highly Motivated trainer with $ 1.767 million.
Bob Baffert, the sport’s most identifiable figure, won the 2020 Kentucky Derby with Authentic, which funded nearly $ 6 million for winning the Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic. Baffert received a PPP loan of $ 556,187.
Baffert will look to win his seventh Kentucky Derby record with Medina Spirit, owned by Saudi businessman and philanthropist Amr Zedan.
Other Kentucky Derby trainers who have received loans include:
- Steve Asmussen ($ 1.088 million)
- Brad Cox ($ 550,000)
- John Sadler ($ 449,2,370)
- Peter Miller ($ 425,000)
- Ken McPeek ($ 424,384)
- Doug O’Neill ($ 366,947)
- Mark Casse ($ 296,571)
- Robertino Diodoro ($ 239,206)
- Vicki Oliver ($ 116,200)
- Greg Foley ($ 91,839)
- Wesley Ward ($ 70,722)
The $ 649 billion paycheck protection program was instituted to help small businesses cover payroll and other major expenses during the pandemic, by offering forgiveness loans of up to $ 10 million. dollars.
It is not known whether the beneficiaries repaid some or all of the money, but what is clear is that the industry has relied heavily on the program as race days have been lost and purses cut.
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The New York Racing Association, which operates Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Saratoga, and which was closed from March 15 to June 1, secured a $ 10 million loan, listing 453 jobs affected. Monmouth Park, which has been delayed for two months, has raised $ 2.319 million.
Many racetracks have lost race dates and have been either banned from having fans or subject to strict attendance limits. Other leads that were relieved included Del Mar ($ 2.814 million), Emerald Downs ($ 2.133 million), Tampa Bay Down ($ 1.68 million), Kentucky Downs ($ 1.68 million) and Turf Paradise ($ 1.477 million).
And it wasn’t just the coaches and racetracks using the PPP program.
West Point Thoroughbreds, an industry innovator in racing partnerships, received $ 232,675. Winchell Thoroughbreds, a racing and breeding operation that campaigned for champion filly Untapable, secured a loan of $ 157,900.
Farms in areas most important for thoroughbred breeding, development and sales have benefited from the program, including Wavertree Stables, in Ocala, Fla., Which received a loan of $ 296,243, and Brilliant Stables in Paris. , Kentucky, which received $ 293,000, while Millennium Farms in Lexington, Ky., Obtained a loan of $ 238,500.
The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation in Saratoga Spring, New York received $ 171,400, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau in Elkton, Maryland received $ 179,347, and the Backstretch employee service team in New York received $ 134,106.
Several jockeys are also listed as having received loans, including Kendrick Carmouche ($ 20,800) and Drayden Van Dyke ($ 20,833).
Locally, trainers who kept horses at Monmouth Park have called for help including Jerry Hollendorfer ($ 353,142), Michael Stidham ($ 301,519), Kent Sweezey ($ 114,200), Jane Cibelli ($ 93,051), Ben Perkins ($ 40,000), Pat McBurney ($ 26,455) and Wayne Potts ($ 20,832).
The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, which leases Monmouth Park, secured a loan of $ 16,100.
Here are the top 25 trainers of 2020 who received PPP loans:
PPP Rank Trainer Money Earned Loan Scholarship
1. Steve Asmussen $ 1,088,000 $ 19,969,514
2. Bob Baffert $ 556,187 19,140,487
3. Brad H. Cox $ 550,000 $ 18,991,552
4. Chad C. Brown $ 1,767,600 $ 16,596,956
6. Mark Casse $ 296,571 $ 11,396,030
7. Todd A Pletcher $ 1,294,412 $ 11,200,790
8. William Mott $ 395,500 $ 9,467,346
9. Christophe Clement $ 507,100 $ 6,227,813
10. Peter Miller $ 425,000 $ 6,134,655
11. Wesley Ward $ 70,722 $ 6,106,095
12. Robertino Diodoro $ 239,206 $ 6,042,443
14. Bret Calhoun $ 80,200 $ 5,575,054
15. Jamie Ness $ 157,933 $ 5,244,920
17. Ken McPeek $ 424,284 $ 5,180,764
18. Richard Baltas $ 314,272 $ 5,157,398
19. Saffie Joseph $ 66,400 $ 4,994,188
20. Tom Amoss $ 366,047 $ 4,812,411
21. Doug O’Neill $ 366,947 $ 4,422,371
22. Michael Stidham $ 301,519 $ 4,306,027
23. Graham Motion $ 503,547 $ 4,183,483
24. Michael Trombetta $ 246,300 $ 4,132,422
25. John Sadler $ 449,237 $ 4,1089 $ 20