The California Thoroughbred Trainers, in a charitable evening to benefit the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation, gathered to honor retired Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye and Laffit Pincay Jr. at a dinner April 5 at the Twin Palms restaurant in Pasadena. Nearly 400 people attended the event, which raised more than $75,000.
The Edwin J. Gregson Foundation is an organization designed to improve the quality of life for all backstretch workers and their families and has, since its inception in 2001, raised more than $800,000 and allowed dozens of children of backstretch workers achieve their dreams and attend college. Gregson was the driving force behind the formation of the foundation, and it was renamed in his memory following his death in 2000.
Hosted by track announcer Trevor Denman, the evening featured dinner and dancing, and a video highlighting the careers of both riders with touching tributes from both fellow riders and trainers, including Chris McCarron, Ron McAnally, Dean Greenman, Alex Solis, David Flores, and Victor Espinoza.
"Every superlative that has ever been given to an athlete has been given to you," McCarron said to Pincay. "You are my idol."
Trainer Paddy Gallager spoke about both riders' talent, as well as their dedication to their personal and professional lives.
"I always thought he could win the race even after the race was over," Gallagher said jokingly about Delahoussaye. "This is Eddie's second time around; the first time he was Silky Sullivan."
Both jockeys were presented with canes, as well as all-expense paid spa vacations for each of them and their wives.
"(The evening) was fabulous," CTT and Gregson Foundation president Jenine Sahadi said. "I'm thrilled. We've sent 28 kids in school and now we have 10 more. This year through everyone's generosity we can send even more kids to school. It's amazing."
"It's great and I'm honored," Delahoussaye said. "This is all for a great cause where we can help the families of the grooms and the exercise boys. It's nice to see the industry helping them and giving back to them."