Jockeys know how to warm up their mounts, but they’re also warming up their vocal chords in Saratoga and Del Mar in advance of the second annual “Riders Up! Battle of East-vs-West” jockey karaoke contests to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).
The Saratoga jockeys are first out of the gate on Sunday, July 28 at Vapor Night (342 Jefferson St., Saratoga Springs, N.Y.). NYRA track announcer Tom Durkin will emcee and this year’s judges are trainers Mark Casse, Mark Hennig, D. Wayne Lukas and Graham Motion. Then, on Sunday, August 4, the Del Mar jockeys will try to outdo their east coast rivals at Belly Up (143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, CA). TVG host Mike Joyce is the emcee and horse owner Nick Cosato, San Diego sports radio personality Scott Kaplan, Del Mar CEO Joe Harper, and TVG analyst Todd Schrupp form the judges’ panel.
Both contests will be streamed live via PDJF’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/jockeysfund) and after the judges on each coast name their favorite performance, the public will vote for their favorite online via Facebook and Twitter (@PDJFund). Last year, the east coast’s winning performance just nosed out the west by a mere 124 votes.
“We showed the west coast riders how it’s done,” said John Velazquez, one of the karaoke competitors. “Now that they’ve seen our shows, revenge is in the air. We just don’t think they can match us, though.”
Said Joe Talamo, who had last year’s west coast winning performance: “We are going to whip the east coast this year. I’m sure we are going to up our game and prove west is best.”
General admission tickets (includes one drink coupon) for each venue are $75 with 7:30 p.m. entry to Vapor Night Club and 7:45 p.m. entry to Belly Up. A limited number of VIP tickets are available at each venue for $150 which includes early entry (6:00 p.m. entry in NY, 6:15 p.m. in CA), reserved seats close to the stage, two drink coupons, and a buffet dinner with the jockeys. Performances are scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. in New York and 8:00 pm in California. Both events feature live and silent auctions and a cash bar. Patrons must be 21 years of age or older to enter the premises. Tickets are now on sale at
Multi-tiered sponsorship opportunities are available for both events. Contact the PDJF by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (630) 595-7660.
The PDJF is a 501(c)(3) charity providing financial assistance to 59 former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Founded in 2006, the PDJF has disbursed nearly $10 million dollars to permanently disabled jockeys, most of whom have sustained paralysis or traumatic brain injuries. The Fund is a cooperative effort among race tracks, jockeys, horsemen, owners, and racing fans. Visit www.pdjf.org for further information.