Riders from Louisiana joined with local jockeys to raise $25,168 for hurricane victims on Thursday night at the Meadowlands.
The "Katrina Invitational Jockey Challenge" drew Louisiana natives Kent Desormeaux, Craig Perret, Mark Guidry, Eddie Martin Jr. and Gary Stevens, as well as members of the local jockey colony who signed autographs. The jockey fees from four races – the third, fourth, sixth and seventh races – contributed to the fundraising effort along with $10,000 donated by the Meadowlands.
Racing fans and horsemen at the Meadowlands kicked in $2,790 with $12,378 from riding fees.
"I just want to thank the Meadowlands fans for digging in your pockets and reaching deep and having some heart and helping these people to have a little bit of comfort time when we show up with some money for them," said Desormeaux.
The money raised will be turned over to the Race Track Chaplaincy program to benefit Louisiana horsemen.
The visiting jockeys opted to ride one race – the third race – to allow more time for autographing and meeting the public. Aaron Gryder, aboard Jet Set Broad, won the maiden special weight event for 2-year-old fillies.