The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation is launching its second annual TIF Summer Prop Contest to benefit racing charities. At least $25,000 will be distributed across three 501 (c)(3) charities aimed at improving the lives and opportunities of backstretch workers.

Each week, the top three finishers in the contest will get to direct a total of $2,000 ($1,000 – 1st, $500 – 2nd - $250 – 3rd) to selected charities. The top three finishers will get to direct an additional $9,000 ($5,000 – 1st, $3,000 – 2nd, $1,000 – 3rd).

Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes Day, Saturday, July 11, will be the first day of the 2020 contest which runs for eight consecutive Saturdays. Entries will open the Thursday prior to each Saturday race day. The full schedule for the contest is below.

Each week, participants face 12 questions and a tiebreaker which are fashioned in the form of betting props. TIF believes that wagering on racing must evolve to include these types of wagers to present customers with modern wagering options. Fixed-odds wagering on racing should complement a modernized pari-mutuel betting product.

A participant’s best four scores over the course of the contest will accumulate towards the overall standings, thus not requiring participation over all eight weeks of the contest. In 2019, longtime racing official Rick Hammerle bested handicapper Tommy Massis by just one correct prop to take the spoils. Over $25,000 was contributed to jockey health-related initiatives from the 2019 contest.

The contests for the 2020 summer will start with Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass Day next Saturday followed by a TVG.com Haskell Day contest on July 18. Racing at Saratoga and Del Mar will take center stage after that, with a focus on the Runhappy Travers on August 8 and TVG Pacific Classic on August 22. Each week will feature a guest prop-setter. Defending champion Rick Hammerle will set the props for the first week of the contest

July 11: Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass Day
July 18: Monmouth’s TVG.com Haskell Invitational Day 
July 25: Saratoga / Del Mar
August 1: Saratoga / Del Mar 
August 8: Saratoga’s Runhappy Travers Day
August 15: Saratoga / Del Mar 
August 22: Del Mar’s TVG Pacific Classic Day
August 29: Saratoga / Del Mar

The three charities benefiting from the TIF Summer Prop Contest are listed below.

About the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs

"The Backside Learning Center is an independent, non-profit organization building community and enriching the lives of equine workers and their families at Churchill Downs racetrack. The learning center strives to be the model organization, empowering equine workers and their families to thrive. It provides the educational opportunities and resources they need to empower themselves and their children. Programs include adult education such as English language classes, conversation partners, individual tutoring, art and music, bike workshops, as well as after-school and summer youth programs."

About the Belmont Child Care Association (Anna House)

"Our mission is to provide a safe, supportive, and academically inspiring environment for the children of parents working in the thoroughbred racing backstretch area located at New York’s historic Belmont Park, Aqueduct Racetrack, and Saratoga Race Course.  We are committed to promoting early childhood education, molding young minds, and encouraging the fulfillment of dreams."

About the Edwin J Gregson Foundation

"In 1998, the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) Board established a nonprofit foundation in ongoing efforts to develop programs to benefit and enhance the quality of life of California thoroughbred horse racing's backstretch workers and their families. In 2000, the Foundation was renamed in memory of veteran trainer and past CTT president Edwin J. Gregson, who was the initial driving force in the establishment of the Foundation.

Understanding the desire to pursue higher learning and the discouraging problem of lack of funds, the scholarship fund was created to aid individuals fulfill their goals in obtaining the education necessary to develop enlightenment, growth, and achievement. The Edwin J. Gregson Foundation (EJGF) has made a commitment to assist financially needy backstretch workers in securing resources necessary to attend college. It is the hope of this Foundation that the Edwin J. Gregson Scholarship Fund will be instrumental in cultivating individuals who will serve as positive contributors to society."