The 50th annual Santa Anita Jockeys vs. Holy Angels Elementary School Charity Basketball Game will be played Thursday, Feb. 23 at La Salle High School in Pasadena, with proceeds to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF), Holy Angels athletic program and the Eye on Jacob Foundation.
Given the historic nature of the game, individual jockey sponsors, representing a wide array of racing industry stakeholders, will lend financial support to this worthy cause.Tip off is scheduled for 7:15 p.m., with admission doors opening at 6:15 p.m.
Hall of Fame jockeys Kent Desormeaux, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Mike Smith, Alex Solis and Gary Stevens will all be available at center court for an autograph session beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The following jockeys, with individual sponsors have committed to the Feb. 23 event:
Norberto Arroyo, Jr. - Richard Baltas
Tyler Baze - Dennis O’Neill Racing
Rafael Bejarano - Eclipse Racing
Brice Blanc - Ruis Racing
Mario Gutierrez - J. Paul Reddam, Cash Call
Chad Lindsay - Phil D’Amato
Corey Nakatani - M. Auerbach, LLC.
Flavien Prat - LNJ Foxwoods
Mike Smith - West Point Thoroughbreds
Austin Solis - Solis Bloodstock
Joe Talamo - KM Racing, Inc.
Jamie Theriot - ERJ Racing
TVG’s Kurt Hoover will be coaching the jockey squad for the 16th consecutive year and Hoover, himself a cager of note at Arcadia High School, circa 1980, likes the way his lineup looks with the recent addition of Corey Nakatani.
“Corey’s such a great competitor, and I really mean that,” said Hoover.“We don’t expect him to score a lot of points, but he comes to play and he helps set the tone for the other guys.He was riding in Arkansas last year, so it’s great to have him back.With Drayden (Van Dyke) out (due to injury) this year, we’re missing our best shooter, so we’re going to be getting Kent (Desormeaux) the ball quite a bit more.It’s always fun!”
The PDJF helps assist permanently disabled jockeys nationwide, while the Eye on Jacob Foundation, named for Jacob Desormeaux, who is the 18-year-old son of Hall of Fame jockey, Kent, benefits those suffering from Usher’s Syndrome.An extremely rare neurological disorder, Usher’s Syndrome causes progressive loss of hearing, imbalance, and eventual loss of sight in approximately 14,000 children in the United States.
Tickets are five dollars per person, and for every two tickets purchased, individuals receive one free admission ticket to The Great Race Place.
La Salle High School is located at the southwest corner of Sierra Madre Blvd. in Pasadena, approximately four miles from Santa Anita.Admission tickets and promotional tee shirts are on sale now at Champions! Gifts and Apparel in Santa Anita’s East Paddock Gardens, or through Holy Angels Elementary School in Arcadia.