To Benefit Belmont Child Care Association
Not That Brady (Worth Watching) will be racing for the benefit of the Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA) on March 9 in the Gotham Stakes
Owners Michael Imperio, Lianna Stables (Vinny Vivolo) and his trainer Rudy Rodriguez have committed 10 percent of Not That Brady's Gotham purse earnings to the BCCA, whose mission is to provide a safe, supportive and academically inspiring environment for the children of parents working on the backside of NYRA tracks.
The BCCA president is Libby Imperio, wife of Michael.
"My husband and I thought it would be a great way to give back, and it's something a lot of other owners do," Imperio said. "Barbara Banke (Stonestreet Stables) has always been very generous donating percentages of her horses' earnings to various charities, and Charlotte Weber and the New York Women's Foundation has also been extremely generous to backstretch charities. We want 'Brady' to run for the kids, but we want him to run for everybody."
The disclosure prompted a further 25 percent donation from Jimmy Riccio, agent of Not That Brady jockey Reylu Gutierrez, and Gutierrez quickly matched his agent's pledge. The 23-year-old apprentice rider, whose father, Luis, is a trainer at Finger Lakes, said he grew up on the backstretch and has a special appreciation for the work BCCA is doing.
"The backstretch is a very tight-knit community. The Belmont backstretch is a little bigger than the Finger Lakes community where I grew up," said Gutierrez. "You have families that go back generations, and that's how I grew up. I learned how to be a good person on the backstretch. The people there raised me and were there to correct me if I was out of line, but in a respectful way. Being a racetrack kid, I'll always be thankful for that education."
Imperio said she is proud of Anna House, the full-scale childcare and early childhood education facility located at Belmont Park, where many of the BCCA programs originate.
"We take kids as young as six weeks old, 365 days a year at five in the morning, into a beautiful, safe place. Parents can feel good about leaving their small children there," said Imperio. "We've created a school age program, so even on the kid's days off from school, they can come and continue with education in a fun environment. I'm also really proud of the new mother's group we've created for literacy and the 'ABC's of Life' program. We're trying to encompass the whole family."