As water reflect a man’s face,

so a man’s heart reflects the man.

(Proverbs 27:19)

Arlington Park Chaplain
Luis Peralta shares information with track worker.

Jose didn't understand why he had to vacate his tack room. In his 60's,he had groomed horses for three decades. For a long time, the track had been his home. Worse, he was still healing from two operations on his stomach. The cost of the surgeries had been paid by a racing agency and thus far, they had treated him well. Still, track security had told him he had to have a job to remain living on the track. Unable to even walk hot horses and with no other place to go, he had two weeks left.

Fortunately, Jose contacted the track chaplain who took him to the local Social Security and unemployment offices. There, the chaplain translated then filled out Jose's paperwork. Later, he arranged for $1,200 in monthly payments and helped Jose find and arrange to rent a small apartment near the track.

Each day at tracks across the nation, chaplains are there to help with everything from addressing an envelope to advocating for workers entangled in the Civil Justice System. Visit any one of the nation's 36 Race Track Chaplaincy of America on-track offices after training hours and, you'll see workers file in, papers in hand, asking for help.
Some need only a document faxed, a phone call made in their behalf or just an envelope addressed. But some are genuinely troubled and need to unload their very personal problems. Problems, that the chaplain will thoughtfully consider, problems that won’t become part of the track's gossip network.

To these personal challenges, chaplains not only bring a compassionate ear and sound advice, but the counseling and advocacy skills needed to provide real solutions.

Chaplains are there for backstretch as well as front side workers. In tragedy and triumph, they officiate with dignity at memorial services and weddings alike. Since the RTCA began in 1971, track chaplains have been there to console, encourage and intervene. Their call as interdenominational ministers has made them Good Samaritans to the entire industry. Their willingness to help those like Jose has earned them a place in the heart of the family that is horse racing.