Bo Derek will lead other celebrities, cancer survivors, members of the public and representatives of the entire California horse racing industry in a walk to fight cancer from the top of the stretch on the track at Santa Anita Park to the finish line.
The first-ever “On-Track to Beat Cancer” event on Sunday, April 17, following the last race on closing day of the winter meet, was announced today by Santa Anita Park and City of Hope. Derek, who is a commissioner on the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), will be joined by Chantal Sutherland, the first woman jockey to ever win the prestigious Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 5, and Jill Baffert, a broadcaster and wife of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
“This is a very special opportunity for the horse racing industry to give back and I’m very pleased to be part of it,” said Derek.
“We are inviting the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT), the California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (CTBA), the CHRB, handicappers, racing fans, unions, farms, vendors, media, other tracks and racing associations and anyone at all who loves horse racing to take the walk,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Marketing, Allen Gutterman.
Participants will be required to donate at least $10 to join the quarter-mile inspirational walk, and everyone is asked to wear purple, which is the official color for the Women’s Cancers, Women’s Cure program. A purple logoed t-shirt will be sold commemorating the event, with those paying $20 getting the shirt and a pass to do the walk. Fans are also encouraged to bring signs and banners, create teams, take photos and dedicate the walk to cancer survivors or to the memory of loved ones who have succumbed to or who are battling cancer. “We’d like to set a Guinness Book of Records mark for the most humans ever to walk in unison on a Thoroughbred track,” said Gutterman. “We believe this is a remarkable way to end our meet, knowing that we’re supporting research to find a cure for cancer and doing something good,” Gutterman said. “We’re grateful for the tremendous support from Santa Anita Park and its community of horse racing fans and supporters,” said Steve Martin, associate Vice President of Marketing, City of Hope. “This special day marks the beginning of City of Hope and Santa Anita’s combined efforts in ridding cancers for all women.”
City of Hope will also be hosting ancillary events at Santa Anita on closing day. A Wellness Center will be erected in the infield, featuring blood pressure exams, healthy food demos, bone marrow transplant updates and cancer screenings. Doctors and nurses will be present to facilitate those who wish to participate. Santa Anita’s infield area will also offer fans live bands, family fun events, food trucks and VIP buffet tents.
— By Scott Hettrick