from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association
Riders at racetracks across the United States and Canada will take part in a unified show of support June 6 for recently injured jockey Rene Douglas and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Riders at Belmont Park and other racetracks will participate in a moment of tribute and support for Douglas and his fellow injured riders at about 4:15 p.m. EDT. All active riders are being asked to consider contributing, as a sign of unity, one losing mount fee from their Saturday earnings to Douglas.
New York Racing Association president and chief executive officer Charles Hayward will make a $5,000 contribution to Triple Crown-winning jockey Ron Turcotte and other riders on behalf of the PDJF during the special winner’s circle ceremony at Belmont. Also, the PDJF and B.E.S.T. (Backstretch Employee Service Team) will be the two designated charities to benefit from the NetJets sponsorship of the riders in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Douglas was seriously injured May 23 during a race at Arlington Park. In 1996, he won the Belmont Stakes aboard Editor’s Note, and during last year’s Belmont Stakes program, he guided Dancing Forever to victory in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. I).
“We appreciate the generosity of NYRA, all the jockeys, racetracks, horse owners, and the racing fans whose compassion and support make such a difference in the lives of disabled riders,” PDJF executive director Nancy LaSala said.
The PDJF assists jockeys who are permanently disabled from an on-track accident and to build awareness for their needs. The organization has disbursed more than $2 million to assist with the living expenses of permanently disabled riders.
Donations to the PDJF can be made to P.O. Box 803; Elmhurst, IL 60126. Contributions in support of Rene Douglas’s recovery may be made to Rene Douglas and mailed to Citibank, 539 N. Michigan Avenue; Chicago, IL 60611.