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Jockeys come together for Katrina victims
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Hall of Fame riders and local jockeys will square off Thursday night at the Meadowlands racetrack to benefit horsemen affected by Hurricane Katrina.
The Katrina Invitational Jockey Challenge is a way for racing's elite and patrons to come together for a worthy cause.
Among the jockeys participating will be Gary Stevens and Stewart Elliott, along with Louisiana natives Craig Perret, Kent Desormeaux, Mark Guidry and Eddie Martin. The jockeys in the four-race challenge will donate their riding fees, and the Meadowlands will donate $10,000.
In addition, the riders will sign autographs for donations and the racetrack will accept contributions from guests, owners and trainers. The donations will go directly to Louisiana horsemen through the Race Track Chaplaincy of America.
"I'm just happy that we were able to pull this together, said leading local jockey Joe Bravo. "I have to put myself into their shoes."
Perret had 23 family members affected by the hurricane.
"Thank God they're all safe. I went through eight days trying to contact friends and family, Perret said, "I couldn't reach anybody."
The jockeys will be available between 7 and 11 p.m. to sign autographs and talk to the fans.