Angel Cruz, breaking from Post 1 and racing without shoes, sprinted to a quick lead and held off apprentice Julio Correa's late surge to capture the jockey foot race held Thursday between Races 4 and 5 at Laurel Park in Maryland to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
For a minimum $5 donation, fans could “wager” on their favorite jockey in the 110-yard race, where the starting gate was positioned at the sixteenth pole in front of the grandstand. All proceeds from the race went to the PDJF.
Other jockeys participating in the race were Sheldon Russell, Jevian Toledo, Katie Davis, Julio Correa, Rosario Montanez, Jorge Vargas Jr., Weston Hamilton, Kali Francois, Avery Whisman, Trevor McCarthy and Victor Rosales.
The Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association each presented the PDJF with $1,000 checks during a winner's circle ceremony with members of Laurel's jockey colony prior to the jockey race.
Prizes and swag bags from local breweries were raffled off as part of Laurel's special Red, White & Brews event, and PDJF caps and shirts were available for specified donations, with all money going to the PDJF.
The PDJF is a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides financial assistance to 60 former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Since its founding in 2006, the fund has disbursed nearly $9 million to permanently disabled jockeys, most of whom have sustained paralysis or brain injuries.
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