First Winner Drawn in Big Apple Triple Contest

The winner of the first leg of the Breeding Fund/NYTB Big Apple Triple contest is a good fit: New York racing fan Marisa Akson of Massepequa, Long Island is bringing her father Tony, a longtime racing fan.

There was never any question about with whom Marisa would share the prize: “My father has always loved horses, and he started bringing me to Belmont when I was a young girl.” Now 27, Ms. Akson works for Joseph’s Custom Clothiers. She proudly notes that several members of the New York jockey colony have had shirts made at her store.

The father/daughter duo will be treated to passes to the paddock and the winner’s circle to greet the winner of the Mike Lee Stakes. And even though they live on Long Island, they will be using the overnight accommodations at the Garden City Hotel on Sunday night to experience the Island as tourists!

Mr. Akson, a Long Islander for nearly 40 years, developed his taste for horse racing attending live races at Belmont Park and Aqueduct and by reading sports Editor Mike Lee’s columns and coverage in the Long Island Press. The race is named for Lee in recognition of his humanitarian contributions to his community as well as his dedication to the sports he covered: thoroughbred and harness racing, and baseball.  Later in life, Lee also served as a member of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

Fifteen 3-year-olds have made the early nominations for the Mike Lee.  Once Akson and her father get a look at the final entries, we’ll find out who they like to land the first leg of the Big Apple Triple.

To enter to win VIP treatment and accommodations for the New York Derby or the Albany Stakes, just click on the enter box in the Big Apple Triple logo on the right-hand side of the Fund’s home page at

– Executive Director Tracy Egan

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