Jockeys and Jeans Fundraiser

Gulfstream Park fundraiser to raise money for injured jockeys.

Press Release

The third annual Jockeys and Jeans fundraiser is at Gulfstream Park.

The third annual Jockeys and Jeans Fundraiser for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund set for Sunday, Feb. 28 at Gulfstream Park will feature a video rerun of the legendary 1962 Preakness and the 1984 Breeders’ Cup Classic. The top finishing Hall of Fame jockeys will be on hand to answer questions for attending fans and media during a panel presentation and sell signed photos of the famous races to benefit PDJF.      

In all 14 Hall of Fame Riders are scheduled to attend,  meet fans and be part of the panel that will take questions from attendees. It will be one of the group’s largest gatherings outside the induction ceremony at Saratoga Springs, NY.  

Manuel Ycaza, the often suspended jockey nicknamed the “Panamanian Pepperpot,” rode many of the best horses of his era and will join fellow Hall of Famer John Rotz for the first time at a charity event since the two tangled in the legendary Preakness.

With Ycaza on Ridan and Rotz on Greek Money, the rough finish made the race a classic. “In the last 70 yards, Ycaza threw caution to the wind and was interfering with Rotz when his mount lay over on Greek Money, “wrote famed racing writer Charles Hatton in Mid- Atlantic Thoroughbred, “Ycaza indeed finished practically sitting beside Rotz.”

Oddly, after Greek Money won by a nose, Ycaza claimed foul. Track Stewards declared the claim “frivolous,” suspended Ycaza 10 racing days and recommended the Maryland Racing Commission add another 20. However, Rotz testified at their hearing that Ycaza “didn’t bother my horse one bit,” a line that created Rotz’s tag of “Gentleman John.” Officials reduced Ycaza’s suspension to 10 calendar days.    

The first three finishing jockeys in the Inaugural Breeders Cup Classic will relive the first $3 million race. In it, long shot Wild Again, ridden by Pat Day, favorite Slew o God and Angel Cordero Jr. and the erratic, earmuff- wearing Preakness winner Gate Dancer with Laffit Pincay Jr. aboard, banged their way to the finish as a team. 

Wild Again, on the rail, won by a nose, with Gate Dancer second and Slew o Gold third. After a steward’s inquiry and a 10-minue wait, Gate Dancer was disqualified and Slew o God moved to second. Track Steward and Hall of Fame rider, Bill Hartack officiated at a press conference the next day to defend the decision and perhaps the credibility of the famous series itself. As a head-on shot of the race played, Hartack used the tractor tire tracks as a marker to show that Gate Dancer on the outside was most culpable. The issue settled— perhaps for all except Pincay—the Breeders’ Cup got off to an infamous, but newsworthy start.

Hall of Fame riders Bill Boland, Walter Blum, Chris McCarron, Sandy Hawley, Don Pierce, Edgar Prado, Jose Santos, Robert Ussery, Jacinto Vasquez and Jorge Velasquez will join the five mentioned. All will honor their severely injured fellow riders Roger Blanco, Gary Donahue, Jack Fires, Mike Straight and Ann Von Rosen.

Held in the Sport of Kings Room beginning at noon, tickets are $50 and include lunch. Call 954-457-6201 Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or buy online at www.gulfstreampark.com. Tickets will be available at the event.

The PDJF helps support over 60 former riders who had catastrophic on-track injures, with about half para or quadriplegics.

Jockeys and Jeans, founded by a group of former jockeys, has procured some $400,000 in non-guaranteed stallion seasons, available for auction to benefit the PDJF at www.starquine.com Four select seasons will be sold at auction during the event along with the boots and helmet worn by Ycaza while exercising a host of top thoroughbreds, including legendary Florida-bred  Dr. Fager.  

For more information contact Eddie Donnally at 818-653-3711 or eddonnally@gmail.com

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