Horse Racing

NYRA Backstretch Celebrate Christmas

Mario Artaza, NY Chilean Consul General as Santa Claus | NYRTC

Christmas came a few days early for about 150 hunched families at Belmont Park on Tuesday, December 20 when New York Speedway Chaplaincy hosts its Annual Family Sponsor Program. Families received food and presents, including new winter clothes for the children, new toys and gift cards.

The highlight of this year’s festival is the presence of Mario Artaza, Chile’s Consul General in New York, who dressed up as Santa Claus. “I am honored to be a part of this year’s event and it is heartwarming to see what the equestrian community is doing for these hunched members,” said Mr. Artaza.

Attendees also enjoyed a medley of Christmas songs by the Elmont Memorial High School Jazz Choir conducted by Ben Pesenti.

“Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our supporters, we were able to sponsor all of the families who requested assistance,” said Humberto Chavez, executive director and chief chaplain of NY Race Track Chaplaincy. aid. “We are especially grateful to our Purebred West Point partners, who have come together to embody the Christmas spirit in an extraordinary and meaningful way.”

Earlier in the month, hunched families also enjoyed a carnival at the Belmont Cafe sponsored by Thoroughbred owner Mike Repole.

For more on NY Race Track Chaplaincy, visit

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This story was posted in News is shared and tagged Belmont Park, Belmont Park Back Stretch, Chilean Consul General, Humberto Chávez, Mario Artaza, New York Racetrack Chaplain, NYRA, NYRA belts, NYRTC, Santa Claus.


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