HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park’s Jockeys vs. Joes Poker Tournament raised more than $8,000 Friday evening for the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After-Care Program (www.gpaftercare.com) and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (www.pdjf.org).
The tournament, which featured a $10,000 guarantee and door prizes, drew a crowd of more than 200 people including jockeys John Velazquez (Chairman of the Jockeys’ Guild), Joe Bravo, Alex Solis, Edgar Prado, Julien Leparoux, Kent Desormeaux, Rajiv Maragh, Manoel Cruz, Jeffrey Sanchez, Jesus Castanon and Daniel Centeno, trainers Todd Pletcher, David Fawkes and Joe Orseno, and retired Hall of Fame rider Angel Cordero.
After more than six hours of play, three players – Victor Terenek, Mario Defoy and Pletcher, Gulfstream’s leading trainer the past eight consecutive years – agreed to a chop of the prize pool.
“This was a very special and significant event due to the support of our fans, jockeys, trainers and owners,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Timothy Ritvo. “It’s imperative that we support these worthy organizations that meet the day-to-day needs of our disabled jockeys and retired equine athletes. Our hope is events like this will continue to grow and shine a light on these much-needed and valuable causes.”
The Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After-Care Program was established in February of 2011 by Mr. Frank Stronach to help match retired thoroughbreds with loving owners who will provide a lifetime commitment to their health, safety and well being.
Mr. Stronach’s dedication to improving the welfare and safety of thoroughbred horses during and after their racing careers was recognized in the summer of 2011 when he became the first recipient of the ‘Earl I. Mack Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Champion Award.’ In September, Mr. and Mrs. Stronach were honored with the Volterra Award at the LongRun Legends Gala for “striving to provide a safe and happy retirement for horses.”
The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) was incorporated in the spring of 2006. It was a collaborative effort of many leaders in the horse racing industry, including race tracks, jockeys, horsemen, and many others who had a vision of a program that would bring much-needed financial assistance to a group of athletes who have given so much to the sport of horse racing.