Jockey Rafael Bejarano raises the flag at River Downs Monday.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano raises the flag at River Downs Monday.

River Downs

Peruvian Riders Meet, Greet, and Win at River Downs

Edited press release

Riders from the Jockey School of Peru met at River Downs with their former instructor Monday to honor the achievements of Rafael Bejarano and raise money for their alma mater.

Through the sale of autographed photos, artwork, and the auction of a signed Peruvian Flag, they collected $5,120 and also donated their profits from winning four of the seven races on the day's program.

Dubbed the Peruvian All-Stars Salute to Rafael Bejarano, top riders Edgar Prado, Jorge Chavez, and Jose Valdivia Jr. flew in for the event. Three years and a day before, Bejarano won his first race in the U.S. at River Downs. Last season, he was the leading rider in the nation with 455 victories.

Teobaldo Vega, the head instructor at the Jockey School of Peru, was on hand to greet and share stories with his old students. There were 16 jockeys from Peru that participated in the event.

"This was a great honor and a great day to share with all of my fellow riders from Peru," said the 23-year-old Bejarano, who headed to New York after his day at River Downs. "I remember all of the people from River Downs who helped me that first year. And I remembered all of the lessons 'Teo' taught me. What a wonderful reunion for us all."