Like most of us, Sid and Stan love to go the track. Morning, afternoon or night, it doesn’t matter really, although mornings are certainly preferred. Unlike us Sid and Stan go on four legs instead of two, because you see, Sid and Stan are Golden Retrievers, not mention title characters in a new children’s book focused on racing and set to benefit one of the game’s many charities.
The new book titled “Sid and Stan Go To The Races,” by Liz Centi and available through BarnesandNoble.com, is geared toward children ages 5 to 8. The story follows the pair of Golden Retrievers and “takes the reader on an adventure through the backstretch of Saratoga Race Course following their family friend, King Sherwood, as he gets ready to race.”
Centi and her husband Mike live in upstate New York and spend much of each Saratoga meeting on the backstretch with their dogs.
“(The book) was two years in the making,” Centi said. “And everybody knows the dogs. People have even seen my husband in the race replays with the dogs. He’ll get texts every once in a while saying, ‘we see you by the starting gate.” People recognize the dogs.”
Centi hopes the book educates and brings a younger generation to the sport and she’s pledged $1 from every copy sold before Dec. 31 to be donated to the New York Race Track Chaplaincy.
“I grew up going to the track. My dad started taking me when I was little,” Centi said. “I reconnected with my husband, we’d known each other for years, at the track. That’s how we started dating. He started exposing me to the backstretch, I had never really been back there that much. The people we’ve met along the way and the opportunities we’ve gotten because of the dogs has been so amazing that I wanted to give something back.
“Horse racing, it’s upset me that it’s gotten a bad rap, especially the last few years. I don’t think a lot of people know, until they spend time on the backstretch how much the horses are loved and taken care of. So I wanted to show that aspect of it. There are a lot of children’s books that talk about specific horses but not necessarily the whole, what goes on behind the scenes kind of thing.”
Organized in the early 1970s, the RTCNY serves more than 3,500 people who work in the stable areas of Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Saratoga. The RTCNY ministers to the heart and soul of the backstretch community with children’s enrichment, social service and recreational programs, educational opportunities and non-denominational religious services. The Chaplaincy provides these extensive services with the intent of satisfying not only spiritual needs but also basic human necessities, and its unique population is served without regard to race, creed, religion, background or social status.
For more information and to order the book, click here.