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Jockeys and Jeans Fundraiser Set for Gulfstream Park

The third "Jockeys and Jeans" fundraiser for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund is set for Feb. 28 at Gulfstream Park.

The event, held last year at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, will feature a video of the 1962 Preakness and the 1984 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). The top finishing Hall of Fame jockeys from those races 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.

The event will be held in the Sport of Kings room beginning at noon. Tickets are $50 and include lunch.

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

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 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., each August.

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 1962 Preakness. With Ycaza on Ridan and Rotz on Greek Money, the rough finish made the race a classic.

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. Longshot Wild Again, ridden by Pat Day, favorite Slew o' Gold 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' Gold moved to second. 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.

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 others to honor injured fellow riders Roger Blanco, Gary Donahue, Jack Fires, Mike Straight, and Ann Von Rosen.

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



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