Brian Elmore Becomes First Horsemen’s Group Executive Named Jockeys and Jeans Ambassador
As the Vice President of Racing for Centaur Gaming, owner and operator of Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in 2015, Elmore worked to make the Jockeys and Jeans Fundraiser held there for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund a huge success! “Brian helped formulate a plan to make our event a real moneymaker, and for that I am eternally grateful”, stated Barry Pearl, President of Jockeys and Jeans. Elmore was recognized and presented with the prestigious Eddie Arcaro Award by the National Jockeys Guild for his outstanding service to the industry and work for the betterment of jockeys at Gulfstream Park in 2016.
Elmore presently serves as the Executive Director of the Indiana HBPA representing over 2,000 men and women who own and race thoroughbred horses in Indiana. Elmore, on behalf of the Indiana HBPA, presented a $10,000 check during this year’s annual fundraiser event held at Santa Anita Park in June. At that event Elmore took the stage and gave a passionate speech on behalf of permanently disabled jockeys. He was clearly affected by the death of 17 year old jockey Juan Saez in a racing incident in October of 2014 and was at the hospital when Juan died, and as Elmore stated, “Juan went to ride with the angels”. Juan was the younger brother of successful jockey Luis Saez and was following in his brothers footsteps. According to Jockey Guild statistics, Juan was the 153rd jockey killed in racing incidents since 1940.
Elmore pledged to work with the PDJF, the Jockeys Guild, and other organizations to improve the funding for some 60 permanently disabled riders who have not received any increases in their $1,000 monthly stipend in 13 years. “We have a problem in this industry and it is establishing a permanent funding mechanism for our disabled jockeys. Also, we need to ensure that there is adequate life insurance available for riders who pay the ultimate price and lose their life while performing their craft. It is difficult enough for family and loved ones to deal with the loss of a family member, the last thing they need to worry about is how they will financially move forward and provide for their families. The reason our industry needs to resolve these issues is simple, DO THE RIGHT THING!”
Pearl said, “Brian’s speech brought home the need to support permanently disabled jockeys and touched the hearts of all that heard it.” Pearl added, “horse people like Brian see up close racing accidents and understand all too well the plight of disabled riders.” Pearl continued, “ this year 21 horsemen’s groups from around the nation proved they care by donating to our event and we are extremely grateful to all. We could not have elevated our cause to the level we are now without numerous individuals donating their time and resources and organizations like the Indiana HBPA in which Elmore serves.
Elmore joins two-time Triple Crown winning and Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert as the only non-jockey Ambassadors who agree to use their platforms to promote and raise awareness of the inherent risks of horse racing for jockeys and develop a revenue stream for permanent funding along with events like Jockeys and Jeans and other PDJF fundraisers for those who have suffered catastrophic, career ending injuries in racing accidents.
Jockeys and Jeans is an all volunteer group, founded by former jockeys, who have raised over $1.2 million for the PDJF in less than six years.
News and Views
For Immediate Release Wednesday July 3, 2019
Jockeys and Jeans Raises over $200,000 for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund at Santa Anita Event
The proceeds have been tallied and the sixth annual Jockeys and Jeans fundraiser for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, this year on Saturday June 22, raised $205,000.
The event featured a speech by two-time Triple Crown winning trainer Bob Baffert who received Jockeys and Jeans first Person of the Year Award. Baffert took the stage and spoke of the need to support severely injured former jockeys and entertained the crowd with stories about his short and far from lucrative career as a jockey.
“I got kicked out of the Jockeys’ Guild because I didn’t ride enough races in a year,” he said. Baffert told about riding a Quarter Horse in a 660 yard race with a purse of $600.00. “It got tight and I pulled my horse out of a tiny hole. The trainer asked me about it and I told him, ‘I didn’t need the $30 that badly.’ Even today when some jockeys’ agents ask me to use their riders, I tell them I can’t because they look too much like me on a horse when I rode.”
Fifteen Hall of Fame riders signed autographs during a morning session open to all track patrons and a dozen later mingled with the crowd and met personally with the seven honored guests, catastrophically injured former riders to listen and offer encouragement. Leah Whitesell, a former trainer now a principle in a New Jersey veterinary clinic, received the group’s first Uphill Push Award for working tirelessly to purchase and drive a wheelchair assessable van 1,100 miles to long-time paraplegic former jockey Vincent Amico. Hall of Fame Jockey Christ McCarron also spoke about the need to support severely injured riders.
Stronach Group’s Chief Strategy Officer, Aidan Butler and its COO, Tim Ritvo attended the event, with Ritvo taking the podium to speak about the his own career as a jockey and the need to support PDJF. Both purchased several auction items. This was the second event hosted by a Stronach Group track and both executives said the event would be welcome at their other tracks.
“The bottom line is this, Jockeys and Jeans will be doing another event at one of the Stronach Groups tracks in the future,” said the group’s president, Barry Pearl. “So many there worked hard to make the event a success and it’s obvious they genuinely care about catastrophically injured jockeys.”
Jack Fires, 63, and a paraplegic since a racing accident at the defunct River Downs at 21, was attending his third fundraiser. “I know all of us (injured riders) feel good about being recognized,” said the PDJF Board Member. “A lot of us can’t make it to the track anymore and this is a way to be involved in something that at one time was a big part of our lives. And I think it’s a way for the Hall of Fame jockeys and everyone else to get familiar with the folks they are helping. All of us enjoyed being there.”
Jockeys and Jeans, founded in late 2014 by a group of former jockeys, has raised over $1.2 million for the PDJF.
For more information contact Eddie Donnally (818) 653-3711 edjockeysandjean.com. wwwjockeysandjeans.com
Jockeys and Jeans Ambassadors in the news.
Bob Baffert Becomes the Only Trainer Appointed a Jockeys and Jeans Ambassador
Bob Baffert, the only living trainer to win two Triple Crowns, has become an official Ambassador,
representing the group founded by former jockeys who in four years have raised over $1 million for
Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. An Ambassador helps with negotiations with track
management, fundraising, and personally advocates for jockeys as they rebuild their lives following
catastrophic, career ending injuries.
He joins Hall of Fame Ambassadors Ron Turcotte, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Chris McCarron, Jorge
Velasquez and active riders, Edgar Prado, Javier Castellano and Mike Smith.
“I met Bob in his office at his barn at Santa Anita and discussed the role of a Jockeys and Jeans
Ambassador,” said the group’s President, Barry Pearl “Without hesitation, Bob turned and looked at
me and said, ‘I would be proud to accept such an honor.’”
Baffert donated $50,000 to PDJF and three other racing related charities after he agreed to accept a
reported $200,000 to allow the Burger-King to be filmed behind him before American Pharaoh won
the 2015 Belmont Stake and completed his Triple Crown sweep. He has quietly donated since and on
Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the second annual Equestricon in Louisville, KY, Baffert, along with other
connections of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify—jockey Mike Smith, WinStar Farm President,
Elliott Walden, and part owner Jack Wolf—spent over two hours signing autographs to
benefit the PDJF.
“I was once a jockey so I know how important it is to support fallen riders,” Baffert said after the
marathon signing. “I’ve hit the ground a few times myself.”
Baffert, who grew up in Nogales, AZ, started riding match races near his home as an early teen,
earning as much as $100 a day, and in 1970 won his first sanctioned race as a Quarter Horse jockey
at a Flagstaff, AZ track. Though he soon outgrew the saddle, he started his training career with
Quarter Horses, racing at Los Alamitos Racetrack in Southern, CA. He dedicated his 2015 Triple
Crown victory to his 1980’s go-to rider there, Bobby Adair, who died in May of the same year at 71.
Baffert and the late “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons are the only trainers to win two Triple Crowns and
Baffert has won a record 15 Triple Crown races. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 2009, he has won
Four Eclipse Awards as top trainer, 15 Breeders’ Cup races and its Classic a record three times.
“I truly stand amazed that so many of racing’s stars have made a decision to stand with us and add to
our efforts to help those who are no longer riding racehorses, but wheelchairs,” said Pearl. “It shows
that racing is not just a business but a community and a truly caring family.”
Jockeys and Jeans, formed in 2014, is an all volunteer group which raises funds through a yearly
event and stallion season sale. All funds raised go directly to the PDJF, which makes monthly
payments of $1,000 to some 60 permanently disabled former jockeys, including some 40 who are
quadri or paraplegics.
For more information contact President Barry Pearl at (717-503-0182)
or VP Marketing, Eddie Donnally at (818-653-3711), website
Available on Amazon and Kindle and by order from any bookstore or library, it is set in 1972 at the beginning of horse racing’s Golden Age. A once barred jockey battling addiction, the fledgling female trainer he loves, and her criminal father race a mysterious, super- talented horse with no legal papers all the way to the Kentucky Derby while a crusading track detective is fixated on foiling their ringer scheme and putting them in jail.
His bio, Ride the White Horse: A Checkered Jockeys Story of Racing, Rage, and Redemption, has sold some 6,000 copies and has 40 four or five star reviews on Amazon. His first novel, Doctrines of Demons sold well and he has shared his end time prophesy on a dozen media outlets. This time he is back in the familiar territory of Thoroughbred racing with The Golden Altar.
In his 19-years as a jockey, Donnally rode over 10,000 races winning nearly 1200. But he was far better known as a racing writer and is the only former jockey to win an Eclipse Award for Newspaper Writing, for the Dallas Morning News in 1984. He has published well over 100 articles in a score of newspapers and magazines, including the Washington Post, New York Times and their Sunday Magazine.
Today, he holds a Doctorate of Ministry and is a professional hospice and hospital chaplain in Clearwater, FL. His testimony of faith has been published in magazines and books, including Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul” discussed on radio shows and featured on The 700 Club” and the CTN’s Herman and Sharron Show. He is a frequent speaker in churches, recovery conferences, rehab centers, and prisons.
He will also write and distribute a monthly blog, Scene from the Saddle, on racing’s issues and trends from the jockeys’ perspective. His website is eddonnally.com.
Donnally is Vice President of Jockeys and Jeans, a group of former jockeys he helped start in 2014 that thus far has raised over $1 million for catastrophically injured jockeys through the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
For more information contact Eddie Donnally at 818-653-3711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Racing has lost one of its brightest stars, but heaven has gained a new jockey
by Barry Pearl, President Jockeys and Jeans.
It has been over 50 years since I first met Manny Ycaza, I was a bright-eyed apprentice and Manny was a full-fledged super star. One thing I learned about Manny that while he was competitive as he was on the track, he was always willing to talk and help young riders.
He was a true gentleman and carried himself with dignity and class. Although we rode together and exchanged pleasantries, one would not call us close friends, as we were from different time periods. I used to watch riders like Manny and Walter Blum, John Rotz and others and was always amazed at their ability and talent.
Manny rode many greats of his era and perhaps any era; Horses like, Dr. Fager, Damascus, Sword Dancer, Intentionally, Bald Eagle, Never Bend, Gamely, Bowl of Flowers, Dark Mirage and Fort Marcy.
In 2016 when Jockeys and Jeans was heading to Gulfstream Park, we contacted Manny and invited to be one of our guest Hall of Fame riders. Manny jumped at the chance and he even traveled from his native Panama, where he was spending the winter. On stage at the event, he and John Rotz relived the infamous 1962 Preakness battle at Pimlico with Manny on Ridan and Rotz aboard the photo finish winner Greek Money. That created a memory for me I will always treasure.
I had the opportunity to discuss Jockeys and Jeans with Manny after our event and was impressed by his many great suggestions on how to make Jockeys and Jeans more successful. Many of his suggestions became standard operating procedures for our events. I was so impressed, that I asked Manny to become one of our Ambassadors, an honor our committee has bestowed on only a few.
One fact about Manny is that when he retired from riding he was selected as the Consul General from Panama. That, my friend, is a pretty big deal. Manny was at our Parx event and once again we disused how we could make Jockeys and Jeans bigger and better. Some of those ideas were implemented at Canterbury Park which broke all records. This year, Manny and his lovely wife Jeanne came to our event at Canterbury and again we discussed the future and some of his visions. We had agreed to get together after the dust had settled and discuss some of his ideas in depth. Though I looked forward to that meeting, unfortunately it will not take place.
Manny Ycaza was a very big person in a small body. Though known as an extremely aggressive rider, in person he was generous, sympathetic, caring and genuinely wanted to help fallen riders. Most of all, he was my friend. Manny my brother, I know I speak for the all our Jockeys and Jeans Committee members when I say you will be missed. All of us were honored to know you.
I talked to his wife Jeanne today and she asked me to let people know that if they would like to make a donation in Manny’s honor, the charity she selected is Jockeys and Jeans/PDJF. Here is the link to the PDJF website just click on the Jockeys and Jeans button. https://pdjf.org/donate/
A bio on the great Manny Ycaza.
Manuel Ycaza was born in Panama in 1938 and became the first of many Latin jockeys to find considerable success riding in the United States. The son of a bus driver, Ycaza began riding ponies at the age of 6 and was riding professionally in Panama at age 14. Ycaza then spent some time riding in Mexico before coming to the United States.
In his first year with Cain Hoy Stable, Ycaza won the 1959 D.C. International aboard Bald Eagle then came back the following year to become the only back-to-back winner in the history of the prestigious international race.
Hired by prominent Canadian owner/breeder E. P. Taylor to ride for his Windfields Farm in the 1963 Queen’s Plate, Ycaza won Canada’s most prestigious race aboard the colt Canebora. A year later, he rode Quadrangle to victory in the 1964 Belmont Stakes to thwart the Triple Crown bid of Northern Dancer. In 1968, Ycaza rode Dark Mirage to the first ever Filly Triple Crown victory when they won the Acorn Stakes, Mother Goose Stakes and the Coaching Club American Oaks.
He won the Travers Stakes (2), American Derby, Jerome Handicap, Kentucky Oaks (4), Suburban Handicap (2), Withers Stakes (2), Alabama Stakes, Arlington Handicap, Aqueduct Handicap, Bernard Baruch (3), Metropolitan Handicap, Champagne Stakes (3), Belmont Futurity (2), Saratoga Special (2), Blue Grass Stakes, Florida Derby, Tremont Stakes (2), Beldame Stakes, Hopeful Stakes, Santa Anita Oaks, Dwyer Stakes, Man o’ War Stakes, Strub Stakes, Diana Handicap, Brooklyn Handicap and Sanford Stakes, among others.
At Saratoga, Ycaza won four riding titles. He won 41 races at the Spa in 1959, breaking a record that had stood for 38 years. Fellow jockeys elected him the winner of George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1964. He retired because of injuries in 1971, but came back to ride in 1983.
Manuel Ycaza was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1977.
Results for the June 23 event are in and the group of former jockeys raised $310,000, easily topping the record $254,000 raised at Parx Racing last year. The total puts the amount raised by the group to well over $1 million.
“Jockeys and Jeans is a true representation of jockeys helping jockeys,” said PDJF Board President Nancy LaSala. “We thank the former jockeys who came together to do something to help raise awareness and funds for the PDJF, as well as the Hall of Fame jockeys who travel across the country and the active riders at each host track. All are there to help the fallen riders. We are so appreciative of the tracks who have hosted the event; Tampa Bay Downs, Indiana Grand, Gulfstream Park, Parx Racing, and Canterbury Park. Without their support this would not have happened.”
The PDJF makes monthly payments of $1,000 to 60 former jockeys who suffered catastrophic racing accidents with 40 either pari or quadriplegics. Most of the remainder suffered severe brain injuries.
The all volunteer group, Jockeys and Jeans came together for a jockey reunion at Tampa Bay Downs in early 2014 and decided to make it into a fundraiser and donate all proceeds to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. President Barry Pearl said this year’s sold out event is likely the richest single fundraiser in the history of Thoroughbred racing.
“While each of our nine committee members puts in a massive amount of work and Hall of Fame riders make the time to show up and take part, it is about more than us,” he said. “It’s about all those in the community of horse racing who stepped up to prove they genuinely care about former jockeys who lives were changed forever in a split second and are now riding wheelchairs instead of horses. And Canterbury Park just took the lead among tracks that care. Randy Sampson and the team there were as innovative as they were determined to make this event a success.”
The track solicited event sponsors and held a poker and golf tournament in which Hall of Fame riders participated. Thirteen attended to honor six permanently disabled jockeys. Edgar Prado flew from his Maryland base to compete with other successful riders and six of the track’s past leading riders in the first All Star Jockey Challenge. Prado, who leads the eight active Hall of Fame riders in victories with over 7,000, got up in the final stride to win aboard Superstar Bea. Barry Butzow, the horse’s co-owner, donated his share of the purse, bringing the total raised in the race to $19,000.
“Canterbury Park and our horsemen were honored to host Jockeys and Jeans and very
pleased with the results,” said track President and CEO, Randy Sampson. “By combining the fundraiser with our Stars of the North Racing Festival, we were able to exceed $2 million in handle on our live races, nearly a record. More importantly, we raised a lot of money for a great cause and our fans had the opportunity to meet an amazing group of Hall of Fame jockeys who came to support their fallen brothers and sisters.”
Jockeys and Jeans is officially announcing that its 2019 annual fundraiser is set for Santa Anita and in 2020 will move to Churchill Downs.
Jockeys and Jeans Travels to Canterbury Park
By Barry Pearl: President Jockeys and Jeans