Sunday, August 12, 2012


Mariano Rivera's day at Saratoga

More from Saratoga via NYRA

8/12/12, "Mariano Rivera enjoys a day at Saratoga,"

New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera visited Saratoga on Friday, and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) rolled out the red carpet for the all-time great reliever.

Rivera's Spa experience began Friday morning with a tour of the backstretch. Escorted by new Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, the 12-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion visited with trainers Todd Pletcher and Kiaran P. McLaughlin. Rivera stopped by Darley Stables and met with Jimmy Bell, president of Darley's American operations.

"I did enjoy that," Rivera said of the tour. "Johnny was tremendous with me this was wonderful. I had a tremendous morning.

"I didn't know the nursing and care they do with these horses. It's amazing. Today was like a school for me. I learned a lot. Next time I will know a little bit more about horses."

Rivera complimented Velazquez upon his induction into the Hall of Fame, which took place following the backstretch tour Friday morning.

"It takes special players and special people to do that. And he is one of them," Rivera said.

"He is a great human being and a great jockey. It was well deserved he got into the Hall of Fame. He's one of the greatest.

"So thank God for Johnny and God bless him."

Several children of backstretch workers also got the chance to meet Rivera, who autographed baseballs for them. The children are attending the New York Race Track Chaplaincy Summer Enrichment Program at Saratoga.

NYRA has posted video of Rivera on the backstretch here.

Friday was declared Mariano Rivera Day in his honor, and later at the track, Rivera received the proclamation from Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott T. Johnson."...

Above, "Mariano Rivera hung out with Johnny V (NYRA Photo)"

"Rivera made the presentation to winning rider Ramon Dominguez after the 3RD race (NYRA Photo)"


8/15/12, "Mariano Rivera fundraiser raises six figures for foundation,", S. Fromma

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