SARATOGA SPRINGS, N. Y.— Andy Serling spends a lot of time talking about horses but on Wednesday morning he was talking instead about the people who care for those horses.
Serling, the longtime New York Racing Association television analyst and handicapper, was being honored by the New York Race Track Chaplaincy for his continuing devotion and support of the backstretch community at the organization’s 15th annual fund-raising brunch at Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs, NY.
“Anyone who has been around our sport knows that the backstretch community is the lifeblood of our sport,” he said. “I greatly admire all those people who dedicate their lives to the care of Thoroughbreds and I’m immensely grateful and humbled by this honor. This award, of course, is even more special to me with Marylou Whitney’s name attached to it.”
As is the custom, Serling was presented with a framed racing scene created by equine artist Tom Chapman from the New York Race Track Chaplaincy.
With the blessing of her late husband, John Hendrickson, this year and henceforth the honoree award will be named the Marylou Whitney Award.
Said Mr. Hendrickson, “Marylou strongly believed that members of the backstretch community should always be treated with dignity and respect and she made that her mission.”
The brunch attracted a record near-capacity crowd of supporters from all segments of the racing industry.
Previous honorees have included Anne Campbell, Edgar Prado, Michael Dubb, Fay and David Donk, Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson, Letty and Kiaran McLaughlin, Lisa and Kenny Troutt, Debbie and Terry Finley, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, and, last year, Irad Ortiz Jr.
The New York Race Track Chaplaincy serves the New York backstretch and farming community with children’s enrichment, social service, recreational, and educational programming as well as non-denominational religious services.
Additional information about the New York Race Track Chaplaincy is available at rtcany.org.
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Andy Serling (left) and jockey Javier Castellano (Lauren King)