John Corrou ’94, center, presents the Empire State College Cup to winning jockey Jose L. Espinosa. Former College Council Chair Sal Rubino, far left, joined Jay Marshall ’06, ’08, Mavis Gumbs, Corrou, Espinosa and Pat DeCoster, the college’s chief of staff, in the winner’s circle.
More than 225 SUNY Empire State College alumni, students, faculty and friends took part in the college’s 19th annual Alumni Day at the Races at Saratoga Race Course.
The celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first organized thoroughbred meet in Saratoga Springs added to the excitement of the day, particularly to the seventh race, where some of the top thoroughbreds in the nation competed to bring home the coveted Empire State College Cup.
In addition to a handicapping seminar that helped to guide novices and experienced attendees, more than half of the alumni attending were honored for their current philanthropic support of the college.
This year Centrina, a registered New York bred owned by John Caputo, won the seventh race.
Centrina covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.36, close to the course record of 1:39.07 set at last year’s meet by Zagora. But, she finished strong overtaking Beautiful Risk and show horse Delightful Dawn on the fast and firm inner turf at Saratoga Race course.
The Empire State College Cup was presented to winning jockey Jose L. Espinosa by John Corrou ’94. In addition to being an alumnus, Corrou and his wife, Jane, established the Corrou Family Scholarship to support current students.
“Empire State College alumni, like the millions of SUNY alumni everywhere, are a great asset and among our most effective student recruiters, ambassadors and advocates for public higher education in New York and the embodiment of “The Power of SUNY,”” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, who spoke at the Alumni Day at the Races breakfast. “Empire State College alumni, who for the most part returned to college as adults, completed their degrees while raising families, serving in the military, holding down jobs, volunteering in their communities and, perhaps, combinations of all of the above. My gratitude and admiration goes to the Empire State College alumni and the faculty, staff, family and friends who supported them.”
“Empire State College’s alumni day at the races is the best-attended alumni event of the year,” said Maureen Winney, the college’s director of alumni and student relations. “The celebration of the 150th anniversary of Saratoga Race Course helped to make this year’s run for the Empire State College Cup and the entire alumni day at the races the best yet. The event started with 20 people and about five years ago attendance surpassed 200. We’ve never looked back. With the 2013 graduations complete, college alumni now surpass 70,000 in number, a very impressive total for a nontraditional college founded in 1971.”