TEAM VALOR INTERNATIONAL’S OAKS AND DERBY CONTENDERS RACING FOR EDUCATION
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Long time supporter of The Race For Education, Team Valor International, led by Barry Irwin, has nominated their Kentucky Derby Contender ANIMAL KINGDOM and Oaks entry SUMMER SOIREE to the non- profit scholarship program. As participants in The Race For Education’s Racehorse Nomination Program, 2 percent of the horses’ earnings will benefit the organization, which funds scholarships and educational programs for young people with significant financial need.
History has shown that nominating Triple Crown runners to The Race For Education might give them an edge. Last year’s Derby winner SUPER SAVER and Belmont Stakes winner DROSSELMEYER, both owned by WinStar Farm, were racing for education as was Jim Tafel’s 2007 Kentucky Derby winner STREET SENSE. WinStar’s BLUEGRASS CAT, who finished second in both the 2006 Derby and Belmont, and Darley Stable’s BERNARDINI who won the 2006 Preakness also campaigned for The Race For Education.
ANIMAL KINGDOM, winner of the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes, is trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Robby Albarado. SUMMER SOIREE, winner of the Bourbonette Stakes, is also trained by Graham Motion and will be ridden by Gabriel Saez
Team Valor International is a syndicate race horse ownership group. Team Valor has started 3 horses in the Kentucky Derby, with their top finisher being CAPTAIN BODGIT, who ran second in 1997. Other Team Valor stars include GITANO HERNANDO, CASHIER’S DREAM, UNBRIDLED BELLE, PLUCK and VISIONAIRE.
Since its inception in 2002 the organization has awarded nearly $3,400,000 in college scholarships and funding for educational programs. The Race For Education’s objective goes beyond getting students though college financially. Its’ mission is to provide mentoring, tutoring and partnership along with financial support, with the ultimate goal of making sure students are successful in life and become an asset to their community.
In 2009 RFE’s Starting Gate was introduced. This valuable program assists younger students in middle school in preparing for college through weekly and monthly programs. Additional outcomes of this program are improved GPA’s better attendance in school and a reduced likelihood of involvement in negative pastimes. The program has been running successfully in New York for two years and will be offered in Central Kentucky beginning with the 2011 / 2012 school year.