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Thursday, December 06, 2007Contact: John Hennegan (646) 436-7789
"The First Saturday in May" Proceeds to Benefit Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

Documentary filmmakers John and Brad Hennegan, who produced the widely acclaimed film “The First Saturday in May” (TFSIM), announced today that a portion of proceeds from the film will support equine research. The Hennegan Brothers have pledged 25 percent of box office revenues, as well as a portion of the revenues generated when the film is eventually released on DVD, to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, which raises and distributes funding for research beneficial to horses.

They made the announcement prior to a screening of the film at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program’s Symposium on Racing and Gaming in Tucson, Ariz.

TFSIM profiles six trainers as they try to make their way to the 2006 Kentucky Derby. It premiered at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and has been shown at several other film festivals around the country since then. Along with rave reviews, it earned the Best Documentary award and the HBO Films Producer Award at the Savannah Film Festival.

TFSIM is tentatively scheduled to make its debut in a network of theaters around the country the week of April 25. (More information about the film is available at

The Hennegan Brothers spent much of their childhood at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga; their father was a longtime racing official at the NYRA tracks.

“We’ve always loved the sport of Thoroughbred racing and we wanted others to experience the passion, the personalities and the events that make it such a unique sport,” said John Hennegan. “Beyond that, we wanted to give something back to the industry and designating the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation as a beneficiary seemed like a meaningful way to do that.”

Since 1983, the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation has distributed more than $14 million for 230 research projects at 32 universities.

Current studies are focusing on laminitis, pneumonia, equine herpesvirus, furosemide and immunology, among many other topics.

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation was also entrusted by the NTRA to manage the funds that fans, racing participants, and racetracks contributed to the Barbaro Memorial Fund. (Trainer Michael Matz and Barbaro are among those profiled in the documentary.)

It was announced in November that two laminitis projects, with funding from the Barbaro Memorial Fund, will be undertaken by researchers at the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University.

Additional information about Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is available at