The 45th annual Santa Anita Jockeys/Holy Angels charity basketball game will take place Feb. 23, at La Salle High School in Pasadena, Calif., with proceeds to benefit the Holy Angels athletic program and the Kentucky-based Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Eye on Jacob Foundation will co-sponsor the event, which will again have the support of Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye, Laffit Pincay Jr., Gary Stevens, and Mike Smith. All of these legendary jockeys will be available from 6-7 p.m. and at halftime to autograph photos and other memorabilia. They will all serve as honorary captains as well.
Top jockey David Flores will again be the jockeys’ game captain.
“This is something we look forward to every year,” said Flores in a release. “It’s just a fun night and it’s great to be able to bring our families and have some laughs—and who knows, we might even win.
“It’s nice to be able to meet all the young kids from Holy Angels and to be able to raise money for their school and for the PDJF. Racing is a great game, but it’s also very dangerous. There are a lot of guys around the country who have been injured badly and we need to try and do all that we can for them.”
The Eye on Jacob Foundation is named for the 13-year-old son of Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, who was diagnosed several years ago with Usher’s Syndrome, a rare disorder that causes loss of hearing, imbalance, and eventual loss of sight in approximately 12,000 children in the United States.
“We’re very happy to be a part of this event,” said Jacob’s mother, Sonia Desormeaux, in a statement. “We’re hoping to be able to provide some nice prizes and to make people aware of Usher’s Syndrome, which is extremely rare. Jacob is looking forward to the game and he’s elated that he’s going to be able to be a part of it and that he’ll be able to be with the jockeys during the game.”
Raffle items include: a 20-inch street, trail, and park bike, a 29er mountain bike, and several basketballs signed by all jockeys and student players.
Other prizes include one free Santa Anita club house admission for every two game tickets purchased, as well as a chance at halftime for five people to make a half-court shot and win two nights at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. Additional prizes will be announced prior to and during the game.
This year’s Santa Anita jockey team figures to include: Flores, Paul Atkinson, Rafael Bejarano, Hector Berrios, Alex Bisono, Brice Blanc, Antonio Castanon, Keiber Coa, Victor Espinoza, Omar Figuero, Eswan Flores, Martin Garcia, Mario Gutierrez, Kevin Krigger, Modesto Linares, Edwin Maldonado, Corey Nakatani, Alonso Quinonez, Joel Rosario, Christian Santiago Reyes, Kayla Stra, Chantal Sutherland, Mike Smith, and Joe Talamo.
HRTV’s Kurt Hoover will again coach the jockeys’ squad, while Matt Denny’s Restaurant’s Matt McSweeny and Marcel Pidoux will head the Holy Angel’s crew.
La Salle High School is located at the southwest corner of Michillinda Ave. and Sierra Madre Blvd. in Pasadena, approximately four miles northwest of Santa Anita Park. Admission is $5.