The 47th annual Santa Anita Jockeys vs. Holy Angels School Charity Basketball Game will take place Thursday, Feb. 27, at La Salle High School in Pasadena with proceeds to benefit the Holy Angels athletic program, the Kentucky-based Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) and the Eye on Jacob Foundation.
Sponsored by J. Paul Reddam’s CashCall and Meticulous Talent, game time is 7:15 p.m. and admission doors open at 6:15 p.m.
In addition to active riders such as Gary Stevens, Mike Smith, Joe Talamo, Corey Nakatani, Rafael Bejarano, Aaron Gryder, Edwin Maldonado, Brice Blanc, Tyler Baze, Mario Gutierrez, Orlando Mojica, Alonso Quinonez, Alberto Delgado, Julien Couton and others, retired Hall of Famers Eddie Delahoussaye and Laffit Pincay, Jr., will be available to sign autographs and other memorabilia beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Delahoussaye and Pincay will also serve as honorary team captains along with game captains Smith, Stevens and Talamo.
“We look forward to this and enjoy competing with the Holy Angels kids every year,” said Talamo. “The game is fun not just for us, but for our families too. It’s just a great night where a lot of us in the industry can come together for a good cause and have a great time. The fans love it to.”
Tickets are $5.00 and with the purchase of two, fans will receive one General Admission ticket to Santa Anita, good for any race day through April 27. There will also be a Half Court Shot Contest at halftime, with the winner receiving a two-night stay in a luxury suite at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas.
Holy Angels Middle School, located on Campus Drive, just to the south of Santa Anita Park, has long educated many members of the racetrack community and its church, Holy Angels, has been a source of strength for many as well.
“In addition to Holy Angels, it’s great to be able to raise money and awareness for both the PDJF and the Eye on Jacob Foundation,” said Talamo. “Racing is a very dangerous game and we have a lot of guys around the country with serious injuries who need help in their everyday lives. The PDJF is there for them and events like this are very helpful.”
The Eye on Jacob Foundation is named for Jacob Desormeaux, the 15-year-old son of Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux. Jacob 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 14,000 children in the United States.
“We are honored to again be part of this event,” said Jacob’s mother, Sonia Desormeaux. “It’s a great thrill for Jacob to be able to hang out with all the jockeys during the game and to be a part of this. Usher’s Syndrome is extremely rare and we’re happy to be able to heighten awareness of it and to eventually be able to contribute to creating a cure. We look forward to seeing everyone there.”
HRTV’s Kurt Hoover, former standout cager at Arcadia High School, will again coach the jockeys’ squad. Hoover’s approach this year is simple: “Just let ’em run-n- gun.”
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. Admission tickets and promotional tee shirts are on sale now at Champions! Gifts and Apparel in Santa Anita’s East Paddock Gardens, on-track, or through Holy Angels School.