Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Bow Our Heads to the Jockeys

One thing that was overlooked on Saturday due to all of the great racing was the jockeys paying tribute to Rene Douglas and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund during the day.
At Belmont Park, jockeys will gather for a ceremony in the winner's circle at approximately 4:15 p.m. Eastern. Jockeys in the United States and Canada are scheduled to have similar tributes at approximately the same time at all tracks that are running Saturday.

All active riders are being encouraged to donate one losing mount fee from their Saturday earnings to Douglas.

In addition, NYRA made a $5,000 contribution to the fund.

The jockeys wore tributes to "RD" and the "PDJF" on their boots all day. Take a look at Calvin Borel's right boot here while sitting on the Kentucky Derby winner.

Contributions in support of Rene Douglas can be made out to his name and sent to Citibank, 539 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, Ill., 60611.

Also related to the jocks, I absolutely love the piece by Sid Gustafson on The Rail yesterday entitled Here's to the Jockeys. I want to quote the whole piece, but here is a snippet
Let us take a moment and bow our heads to the jockeys. They take all the risks and talk about none of them. They take criticism close-lipped and quiet-like, the true horsefolk they are. All the risk is theirs, yes, but the blame for losing a race is not theirs, not in the last two Belmonts at any rate.

I think we often forget who indeed accepts the most risk at the track every day. The owners and gamblers may lose money. The trainers may lose their livelihood. The fans may suffer broken hearts. But it's the jockey colony that faces their collective mortality every time they get a leg up. Thank you for what you do.


Ghostsnapper said...

Well said. I missed this, too, though I was at the track the whole day. I wish I would've been cognizant of the moment.

I love jockeys. In some ways, they're very much like their noble mounts, fearless and passionate about what they do, no matter what the cost.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for posting this. I wasn't aware that the jockeys did this on Saturday. It would have been nice if the tv coverage would have shown some of it or at least mentioned it.

It takes a special kind of person to be a jockey and it's important for us to remember that the sport we love wouldn't exist without them.

suebroux said...

Nice post. I had read that there would be a tribute to Douglas; I didn't see it on the Belmont simulcast but the Arlington Park signal showed a wonderful montage of RD riding / winning during their tribute. (Of course, no sound ... perhaps its floating around on their website or YouTube).


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