Pat Day began his "What a Difference a Day Makes" summer tour to benefit the Race Track Chaplaincy of America July 20 at River Downs by riding in a few races in the afternoon and speaking during dinner in the clubhouse that evening.
Day greeted patrons at the Cincinnati, Ohio-area racetrack for about two hours, and then rode in two races. He won one and finished second in the other. Day then returned to the paddock to spend more time with fans.
"Pat's celebrity status and appreciation in this area is outstanding," said John Engelhardt, director of publicity at River Downs. "Our Tuesday crowd looked more like a weekend crowd, and he didn't disappoint a single person. He is a very charismatic individual and a great spokesman for our sport and the RTCA."
The four-time Eclipse Award winner was the featured speaker at a dinner that drew about 100 people including jockeys, owners, trainers, track employees, and fans. Day recounted his rise to the top of his profession, his period of alcohol and drug use, and his life-changing rebirth as a Christian.
"We are supposed to uplift and encourage one another and be generous and helpful," Day said. "And 'generous' doesn't mean writing a check; it means with your time and your talents. So I consider it a privilege to help somebody or bring a smile to somebody's face and brighten their day."