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Xpressbet to Sponsor Jockey Challenge

Black-Eyed Susan Day 2014 logo.
Leading online wagering provider, Xpressbet, will sponsor the Hall of Fame Jockey Challenge, an event scheduled for May 16, 2014, Black-Eyed Susan Day, at Pimlico Race Course.  The Challenge pits the 7 active Hall of Fame riders against one another in a 4-race competition that will be open for wagering. 

 

Challenge participants include Hall of Fame riders Gary Stevens (inducted in 1997), Russell Baze (1999), Mike Smith (2003), Kent Desormeaux (2004), Edgar Prado (2008), John Velazquez (2012) and Calvin Borel (2013).  As a group, these riders have won 44,721 races with earnings of $1,592,737,799 and counting.  They have combined to win the Preakness Stakes 7 times. 

 

Xpressbet President, Ron Luniewski, remarked, “We’re thrilled to sponsor this unique event.  To have 7 Hall of Famers still competing, let alone dominating the sport, is incredible.  For them to square off at Pimlico should make a great day of racing even better.  We’re proud to partner with the Maryland Jockey Club and the Jockeys’ Guild to make this never-before-seen competition a reality.” 

 

Racing fans and bettors can bet on the outcome of the Challenge through Xpressbet and other wagering providers across the country, with Win and Exacta wagering offered.  Riders earn 12 points when they finish first amongst the Jockey Challenge participants, 6 when second, 4 when third and 3 when fourth.  The jockey that accumulates the most points over the 4 races is the winner and receives the winner’s portion of a $50,000 purse.  

 

Tom Chuckas, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Maryland Jockey Club, said, “It’s an honor for Pimlico to host the Hall of Fame Jockey Challenge on Preakness weekend.  We feel that the Jockey Challenge enhances what is already one of the premier weekends in North American racing.” 

 

Christopher Dragone, Director of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, remarked: “This event provides fans with a unique opportunity to watch the best riders of their generation, as established by writers, historians and their peers, compete head to head for the first time ever.”  

 

The Stronach Group to Donate $50,000 to Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund

 

In conjunction with the Hall of Fame Jockey Challenge, The Stronach Group will also make a $50,000 donation to the PDJF.  The PDJF supports 60 former jockeys that suffered catastrophic on-track injuries and can no longer compete.  Former jockey Ramon Dominguez will be at Pimlico on behalf of the PDJF to accept The Stronach Group’s donation.

 

Mike Rogers, President of The Stronach Group’s Racing Division, noted that the opportunity to support the industry drove this decision.  “The Stronach Group values the health and well-being of racing’s athletes, both human and equine.  We feel that supporting them is integral in preserving our sport’s future.”  On the donation to the PDJF, Rogers added, “We admire the work the PDJF does, and we are proud to donate to them.  We encourage others to do the same.”

 

Hall of Fame rider and Jockeys’ Guild Chairman, John Velazquez, commented, “I’m looking forward to this event.  We’ve been riding against one another for decades, and we’re all eager to get out there and try to win.  Everyone in the group has accomplished remarkable things on the track, but this day is about being the best of the best.  As a group, we appreciate Xpressbet’s and The Stronach Group’s generosity and are thankful for their support of the PDJF.” 

 

More information about the Hall of Fame Jockey Challenge will be released when it becomes available. 

 

 

 

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