Hall of Fame jockeys at Kentucky Downs today to raise funds for PDJF

Jockeys Ron Turcotte and Pat Day with Derby Tours members at our backside breakfast

Jockeys Ron Turcotte and Pat Day with Derby Tours members at our backside breakfast

Six of Thoroughbred horse racing’s all-time greatest jockeys will be in attendance today at Kentucky Downs, greeting fans and signing autographs in a fundraising event for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).
Participating in the festivities are Hall of Famers Calvin Borel, Pat Day, Chris McCarron, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Edgar Prado and Randy Romero. Hall of Fame Trainer Jack Van Berg will also be on hand, signing autographs and copies of his new book: “Jack, From Grit to Glory.”

All of these Thoroughbred racing living legends will be signing autographs from 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. near the Kentucky Downs winners’ circle. Trading cards for each jockey will be provided to fans, and a $10 donation to the PDJF (for all autographs) is requested.

“It is truly an honor to host these Hall of Famers at Kentucky Downs,” track President Corey Johnsen said. “They have given so much to our great sport, and it is indeed a privilege to work with them and the Jockeys’ Guild to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund.”

Collectively, the Hall of Fame riders in attendance have won an astounding 41,582 races (including eight editions of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs – yes, EIGHT!). They have also captured over $1.25 billion in purse money.

Trainer Jack Van Berg ranks as the fifth winningest trainer of all-time, having saddled 6,426 winners to date, and he is best known as the trainer of Alysheba, the winner of the 1987 Kentucky Derby and the 1988 Horse of the
Year. Alysheba was ridden throughout his storied career by Chris McCarron, who will be present.

The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides financial assistance to some 60 former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Since its founding in 2006, the fund has disbursed over $5 million to permanently disabled jockeys, most of whom have sustained paralysis or brain injuries.

Many of the jockeys we serve were injured while in their 20s and 30s and face decades of living with a disability. They have lost their income and the opportunity to build a financial cushion sufficient to support them and their families.

The medical needs of our disabled jockeys are great and may include daily assistance from a caregiver. In today’s healthcare environment, costs continue to escalate — posing still more challenges to individuals who courageously test their limits every day.