California Retirement Management Account, a charitable organization dedicated to assisting local Thoroughbred rehabilitation and retirement organizations raised more than $71,000 at its third annual charity Texas Hold ‘Em “Poker in Paradise” event. One night a year, industry insiders, jockeys, trainers, and racing enthusiasts gather to play poker and raise funds to ensure retired racehorses receive proper long-term care.
With 234 poker players in attendance, up from 150 last year, the event’s funds will benefit local organizations dedicated to the maintenance and care of retired racehorses. An additional 115 people attended the event to simply show their support.
“We are thrilled with the success of our ‘Poker in Paradise’ event,” said CARMA chair Madeline Auerbach. “The work CARMA does in the horse racing community in California is so important and deserves the attention it received at this fundraiser. I am eternally grateful to all the attendees, especially those who participated in the poker tournament, for their support and dedication to CARMA.”
Sports radio host Jim Rome was among the attendees, along with his wife Janet Rome, a member of the charity’s event planning committee. Padres baseball player Mark Loretta, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, and trainer John Shirreffs were also in attendance. Former major league baseball player Billy Koch, a principle of Little Red Feather Racing, served as the MC for the evening.
Every purchase of a “CARMArita,” a special drink named for the event, included an entry to a drawing for a 1.13-carat cognac diamond from Prince Jewelers of Arcadia, Calif. At the end of the night, Colleen Hartford was the lucky winner of the diamond.