News Releases

Friday, May 31, 2002Contact: Nancy Kelly (212) 521-5326
Box Seats for Belmont Stakes Highlight Belmont Ball Auction

Seats for the June 8 Belmont Stakes have been sold out since just after War Emblem won the Preakness but a clubhouse box with six seats on the finish line will be auctioned off to the highest bidder when the New York Racing Association hosts the annual Belmont Ball Thursday, June 6 at Belmont Park.

The ball will feature a live auction with eight other items and proceeds from the event will benefit Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, the leading private source of equine research funding in the United States.

The box seats were donated by Helen K. Groves.

Among the other items are a VIP golf package for three at the famed Secession, in Beaufort, South Carolina; a luxurious four-night stay in Key West; an oil painting of War Emblem; a catered dinner party for four; and several individual bottles of exquisite wine.

The Saratoga Springs-based auctioneer Jeff Minton will handle the auctioning duties.

“We’re deeply grateful not only to the New York Racing Association but also to each of the individuals and companies who donated items for our auction,” said Nancy Kelly, the vice president of development for Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “The money we raise Thursday will allow us to fund additional studies on Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS) and other equally important equine research projects in the months and years ahead.”

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation currently is funding 23 projects for more than $800,000 and over the last two decades has supported 180 projects at 31 universities for a total of more than $9.5 million.

The scope of maladies ranges from various infectious diseases and laminitis to an array of soundness issues. One of the projects underway seeks to develop a means of alerting horsemen to impending bone or joint injury through analysis of serum markers.

Several projects also utilize cutting-edge technology, such as the use of adult stem cells to aid cartilage regeneration.

Additional information about the Belmont Ball and the auction may be obtained by contacting Nancy Kelly or Jenifer Van Deinse at (212) 521-5305 or by e-mail at