If you see Michael Dubb this summer, Saratoga, pat him on the back. The homebuilding mogul and winner of seven year-end NYRA owner titles is the man behind Saratoga Race Course’s new 4,300-square-foot childcare center, which will serve the children of the track’s workers.
Called Faith’s House and located on the Oklahoma side of Union Avenue, the facility will provide childcare services and early education programs for up to 35 infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children. The facility is divided into sections based on age group, and it comes equipped with everything from cribs and toys to iPads and an outdoor playground. It’ll also be open seven days a week, 5am-5pm, to accommodate the oft-nontraditional hours of trainers and backstretch workers.
Long Islander Dubb is no stranger to Saratoga, having come here for the racing season since the 1970s. As a teenager, he’d sleep in his dual-purpose landscaping van at night and go to the track during the day. Soon enough, Dubb’s landscaping business morphed into a building gig, and he eventually founded The Beechwood Organization, which has become one of the largest homebuilding and development companies in New York.
Interestingly, Dubb’s career as a horse racing philanthropist predates that of being a horse owner. “When I was still a fan, I met jockey Jerry Bailey, who let me know about a need for daycare,” says Dubb. Dubb founded the nonprofit Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA) in 1998, with the help of some key individuals in the Thoroughbred racing industry—he currently serves as its board chairman—and up went BCCA’s first facility, Anna House, in 2003 at Belmont Park. It was an immediate success: It kept: It kept backstretch families together while they were at the track, as well as became a quasi–future racing personnel pipeline. “We already have graduates from the daycare center,” Dubb says, “who are working on the backstretch.”
Even with spectators back in the stands this summer, Dubb sees the opening of Faith’s House as the main event at the track. “Saratoga means so much to me,” he says. “And to actually see Faith’s House come to fruition and know that it will be there for years and years to come, it’s certainly more important than any race that I’ve ever won.”