Derby Contender Not That Brady To Run In Support Of Belmont Child Care Association

Not That Brady, co-owned by Michael Imperio, Lianna Stables [Vinny Vivolo] and his trainer Rudy Rodriguez, will also be racing for the benefit of the Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA) when he bursts from the gate on March 9 in the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The owners of the handsome chestnut, bred in New York by KatieRich Farms, have committed 10 percent of Not That Brady’s Gotham purse earnings to the BCCA, who endeavor to provide a safe, supportive and academically inspiring environment for the children of parents working in the thoroughbred racing backstretch area at all three New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) tracks.

BCCA president Libby Imperio said it is important for owners to step forward and give back to the community.

“My husband [Michael] 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.”

News of the donation broke on Saturday via NYRA TV personality Anthony Stabile’s Twitter account, which prompted a further 25 percent donation from Jimmy Riccio, agent of Not That Brady jockey Reylu Gutierrez.

Gutierrez quickly matched his agent’s generous donation. 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,” he added. “If you’re willing to listen, I think the backside workers, the blue-collar people, the grooms who work every day in the toughest conditions will show you what it’s like to come from the bottom up. And that’s why the kids on the backside, with their families who are working so hard, deserve our support. Anything I can do to help a guy or girl from the backside, and I’ve been there, I’m willing to help out.”

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,” continued Imperio. “We’re trying to encompass the whole family.”

Not That Brady, a son of 2008 Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, is out of the popular New York-based mare Lisa’s Booby Trap, who won 10-of-18 career starts, including nine wins at Finger Lakes.

After being claimed for $50,000 out of a fourth-place effort in his August 23 debut at Saratoga Race Course, Not That Brady has won twice for his new connections, including a victory in the Damon Runyon. He enters the Gotham, which offers 50-20-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, out of a solid second in the Grade 3 Withers, where he earned four Derby points.

“He’s very special to me,” said Gutierrez of Not That Brady. “I don’t think many bug boys that I know have had the opportunity with a Derby horse. And with him being a son of Lisa’s Booby Trap, who means a lot to the Finger Lakes people, and a New York-bred, like myself, this opportunity means the world to me. The whole team has helped me, but especially ‘Brady’. We’ve developed so much together, and I think the sky is the limit for him. He’s improving every time out and I’m getting a little better too.”

Imperio said she agrees with the young rider’s assessment of the improving Derby hopeful.

“He’s very feisty, especially for a gelding. He’s not warm and cuddly but I have spent time with him. We went back to the barn after the Withers and were there to see him cooling out,” said Imperio. “His last few races, he seems to be getting stronger and better. He still has a little trouble getting out of the gate, but we think he keeps improving.”

Most importantly, Imperio is proud of the entire Not That Brady team, and that includes the many backstretch workers who help their horses get from the barn to the racetrack.

“We’re really proud of our trainer, Rudy Rodriguez and his staff. This is a great team. We’re very good friends with Vinny Vivolo and we’re all excited,” said Imperio. “We hope that more owners will take the opportunity in big races to donate – and it doesn’t just have to be for Belmont Child Care Association – all the backstretch charities can really use any form of donation at any time and the people of the backstretch deserve it. We wouldn’t be able to race these horses without them.”

The post Derby Contender Not That Brady To Run In Support Of Belmont Child Care Association appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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