A Jockeys and Jeans record 19 Hall of Fame riders are expected to attend the sixth annual Jockeys and Jeans Fundraiser benefitting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund at Santa Anita on Saturday, June 22. They will be there to honor the seven permanently disabled riders who attend, mix and mingle with attendees, and sign autographs.
The Hall of Famers are Braulio Baeza, Bill Boland, Steve Cauthen, Kent Desormeaux, Victor Espinoza, Pat Day, Earlie Fires, Sandy Hawley, Julie Krone, Chris McCarron, Donald Pierce, Laffit Pincay Jr., Edgar Prado, Jose Santos, Alex Solis, Mike Smith, Gary Stevens, Bobby Ussery and Jorge Velasquez.
New this year are Desormeaux, Espinoza, Smith and Stevens. Cauthen, Espinoza and Smith are three of the five living jockeys who have won the Triple Crown. Day will become the only Hall of Fame member to have attended all six events, while McCarron will offer brief remarks. Ussery is 83, while Boland, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1950 as an apprentice at 16, will travel by train to the event from Florida. He is 85.
Organizing committee member Sandy Hawley, who arranged for the attendance of his fellow Hall of Fame member, said, “I missed the first two but when I attended I realized the importance of this cause and have been to all since.
“It’s truly an honor to help my severely injured brothers and sisters and I know it’s the same for every Hall of Famer who has taken the time out of their lives to attend.”
The six honorees are Oscar Andrade, Stacey Barton, Dennis Collins, Jack Fires, Armando Rivera and Diego Sanchez. All became pari or quadriplegics from racing accidents. Committee member Jayme LaRocca, a severely injured former rider who oversees relations with injured riders, will also attend. Andrade, Collins and Sanchez will attend for the first time.
Andrade was already a leading Quarter Horse jockey when he was injured in 2001 at Los Alamitos at 21. Collins, winner of 2,360 races, was injured at the Downs at Albuquerque in 2016 at 53. Sanchez participated in a jockey foot race to benefit the PDJF in 2015 at Emerald Downs and less than a year later was injured at the same track. He was 26.
All seven, along with some 53 other severely injured former jockeys, receive a $1,000 monthly stipend from the PDJF, the recipient of all funds raised by Jockeys and Jeans. The group of all volunteers, founded in 2014 by five former jockeys and led by President Barry Pearl, has raised over $1 million for the charity.