The initiative, known as Right Side of the Track, is opening 12 “Colts & Fillies Clubs” in impoverished urban locales across the country, and already has four operational centers in Detroit, Baltimore, Birmingham, and St. Louis. According to organizers, the facilities will provide at-risk yearlings and disadvantaged foals with free access to state-of-the-art running tracks, experienced trainers and jockeys, and, depending upon their behavior, sugar cubes.
“We want young thoroughbreds to know that there are other opportunities out there, that there are better things to do than gallop the streets looking for trouble,” Right Side of the Track president Hanson Jennings said Sunday at the opening of the Compton Colts & Fillies Club. “These horses need structure, and they need a safe place to go during the day or they’ll wind up in the wrong herd.”
“Take Afternoon Delight here,” added Jennings, referring to the 18-hand Appaloosa standing next to him. “One year ago he was a young-punk pony living on the streets of Baltimore with no future ahead of him. But because of our mentoring program, his confidence is growing, his outlook is far more positive, and he raced last year in several events. He still has some anger issues, especially around dogs, but he hasn’t bitten a human in over seven months.”