Four Hall of Fame jockeys – Angel Cordero Jr., Pat Day, Chris McCarron and Laffit Pincay – have signed on to participate in an international promotion of the horse racing industry known as "Legends on Tour." The tour kicks off May 2, the night before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with a gala at the Executive West Hotel in Louisville, Ky.
All Derby-winning jockeys have been invited to the event, and several expected to have mounts in the 2008 edition of the race are likely to attend, including John Velazquez, Edgar Prado, Garrett Gomez, Kent Desormeaux, and Mike Smith. The event is expected to replace the Mint Jubilee Gala in the Derby-week itineraries of most riders, as proceeds from funds raised at the Mint Jubilee will not benefit racing-related charities this year.
According to Pincay, the goal of the tour as a whole is to promote the racing industry and interact with fans who followed the careers of the now-retired riders.
“It’ll be good for racing; it promotes racing and involves the people who heard about all of us through the years,” Pincay said. “We’re going to help a lot of charities, and it’s going to be something good to do. This year we’ll see how it goes.”
During the events, the Hall of Fame riders will field questions from the audience about races they’ve won. According to the tour’s international coordinator, Kerry Gogan, the group is in talks with the Breeders’ Cup regarding endorsement and promotional tours.
Although the Jockeys’ Guild is not involved with the tour, regional representative Darrell Haire will act as a consultant for the Derby event, as will Louisville businesswoman Linda Foushee.
“We want to put these riders in front of people to expose them for the athletes and celebrities they really are,” Haire said. “They want to promote horse racing and the industry; they’ve never really been promoted as the legends they really are.”
Information on Legends On Tour may be obtained by calling (323) 656-8147.