Day At The Track

Funds continue to rise for Anthony Coletta

01:15 PM 21 Nov 2013 NZDT
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Tote Board at Yonkers Raceway Tuesday night

The growth, generosity and well wishes continue to rise as horsemen and women throughout the harness racing community and outside the Standardbred industry are coming forth with donations towards the Anthony Coletta Fund.

Coletta, who was critically injured in a driving accident at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sunday, November 17 suffered head trauma and multiple fractions that required emergency surgery. He is figthing for his life at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Reports said he is still breathing on his own, and tomorrow he will have multiple surgeries to work on fixing his broken pelvis, hip and elbow.

Horsemen and women and racetracks across the United States are rallying to help raise funds for Coletta’s massive medical expenses. Thursday there will be a special days at tracks throughout the nation as many drivers, trainers and owners are donating and matching fees to help the cause.

Joanne and Richard Young, owners of the world champion pacing filly, I Luv The Nitelife, said today they will donate 10% of their filly’s earnings from her next race, which is the $200,000 Nadia Lobell Pace at the Meadowlands on November 30. If she continues her winning ways that could amount to $9,000.

Driver Yannick Gingras announced earlier this week that his is donating his driving fees to the Coletta Fund on Thursday and already more than ten owners and drivers have said they would match whatever he raises.

Coletta’s best friend, trainer Anthony “Pork Chop” Defrancesco, III, has visited Coletta every day in the hospital and has set up a Facebook page, “Thoughts and Prayers for Anthony Coletta,” that already has more than 4,000 likes.

Defrancesco has arranged for the purchase of 6,000 wrist bands that he will have ready by Monday.

“I hope 6,000 will be enough.” Defrancesco said.

He is also arranging with a local bank to set up a permanent fund for his friend.

“Anyone wishing to make donations can write out a check to Anthony Coletta and send it to Defrancesco at 2551 South Mildred Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148. “ Defrancesco said. “To order wrist bands or to assist in our fundraising efforts please call 215-385-6732.

“We have even heard from some groups outside our industry who are sponsoring trail rides to help raise money for the family too,” Defrancesco said. “This is really great.”

Tracks and organizations where fund raising efforts are taking place include Dover Downs (DE), Freehold Raceway (NJ), Harrah's Philadelphia (PA), the Meadows (PA), Lebonon Raceway (OH), Pocono Downs (PA), Yonkers Raceway (NY), The SOA/NY, Crawford Farm and many indiviual grooms, trainers, drivers and owners too.

By Steve Wolf for

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