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Santa Anita Jockeys and Basketball for Charity

The Santa Anita jockeys facing the Holy Angels basketball team in last year's event raising money for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. (Image courtesy Santa Anita Park)
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Horse jockeys, basketball and charity. What more can you want?On Thursday, the jockeys of Santa Anita will face off against the Holy Angels School basketball team at 7:00 p.m. at La Salle High School in Pasadena. Admission is $5, and all proceeds go to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF.) Legendary hall of fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye, Don Pierce, Laffit Pincay Jr., Gary Stevens and Mike Smith will serve as honorary captains and will be on hand to autograph memorabilia from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the La Salle High gymnasium.

"This has been a great event over the years and we always have a lot of fun with it," said jockey David Flores, who will again serve as game captain for the jockeys. "What's really exciting about this year is that for the first time, we are going to include the Disabled Jockeys Fund in our fundraising effort. Racing is a very, very dangerous sport and this means a lot to all of us in the racing industry."

Holy Angels School, located just south of Santa Anita Park, has partnered with Santa Anita for numerous charity events for the past 50 years.

The PDJF, which was founded in 2006, provides financial assistance to professional jockeys (both Thoroughbred and quarterhorse) who have sustained serious injuries such as paralysis and brain trauma, which often result in permanent disabilities.

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As for the game itself, the baskets will not be lowered or any of that nonsense despite the jockeys losing the last three years. HRTV's Kurt Hoover, who will also coach the jockeys this year, is optimistic in bucking the trend.

"If we can field a full-squad and pressure Holy Angels from the half court line, I think we've got a good shot," said Hoover.

La Salle High School is located at the southwest corner of Michillinda Ave. and Sierra Madre Blvd. in Pasadena, approximately four miles from Santa Anita. Admission is $5. Autograph sessions begin at 6 p.m. with the game starting at 7 p.m.