Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jockeys to race on foot at the Spa on Saturday to to benefit PDJF

The New York Racing Association, Inc.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Contact: John Scheinman

(718) 659-2351


Jockeys to race on foot at the Spa on Saturday to benefit PDJF

Autograph session also on schedule of day's activities



SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The riding stars of Saratoga Race Course will line up in the starting gate Saturday for a special "Jockey Foot Race" to raise money as the Spa participates with other racetracks around the country in the first Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund Awareness Day.


Post time for the Jockey Foot Race, race 5A in the program, is scheduled for 3:20 p.m.


Race fans are invited to make a "bet" - a $5 donation to the fund - by picking a winner from a special promo card in the 13-jockey field for the 110-yard race, which ends at the finish line. Those who pick the winner will receive a Saratoga baseball cap and their names will be entered in a special drawing for a VIP Day at the Races later in the meet.


Former top rider and present New York Racing Association analyst Richard Migliore has handicapped the 12 entries - including the coupled Ortiz brothers, Irad, Jr. and Jose, the 8-5 morning-line favorites.


Comprising the rest of the field are the Spa's leading rider, Javier Castellano (6-1), as well as Joel Rosario (9-2), Julien Leparoux (10-1), Mike Luzzi (15-1), Luis Saez (8-1), Taylor Rice (5-1), Dylan Davis (4-1), Manny Franco (2-1), Corey Lanerie (3-1), Robby Albarado (7-1), and Hall of Famer John Velazquez (15-1), who finished second in the last jockey race held at Saratoga in 1995, won by Filiberto Leon in 0:13.40.


In addition to the Jockey Foot Race, all Saratoga jockeys will participate in an autograph and photo session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Jockey Silks Porch outside the jockeys room. For a $5 donation to the PDJF, fans can collect every rider's autograph.


"This organization is dedicated to improving the lives and welfare of men and women who face lifelong challenges due to their disabilities," said Velazquez, who is Chairman of the Jockeys' Guild and a board member of the PDJF. "They can no longer compete or provide adequately for their families. PDJF Day Across America is an opportunity to educate our fans about the PDJF and emphasize the importance of raising funds."


Fans can also text 50555 to make a $10 donation. If 5,000 people across the country text a donation, they would raise $50,000 for the PDJF.


The nonprofit Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund has disbursed more than $5 million to some 60 jockeys who suffered catastrophic on-track injuries such as paralysis or brain injuries since its creation in 2006.






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