This season, Saratoga Race Course jockeys and horsemen competed in a sports arena other than the flat track: a basketball court. The 12th annual Jockeys Vs. Horsemen Basketball Game pitted the jockeys against the trainers at the Saratoga Springs YMCA in front of an audience of more than 300 attendees. All proceeds from the event went to New York Race Track Chaplaincy programming.
For the third year in a row, the jockeys, assisted by NBA star Charles Smith (to add some height to the roster), outplayed the trainers. Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. coached the jockey squad, and trainers Todd Pletcher and Kiaran McLaughlin coached the horsemen. Colorful commentator Mitch Levites of NYRA television served as house announcer, while Sam “The Bugler” Grossman raised crowd spirits. “Every year this game enables fans to see some of their favorite jockeys and trainers in a fun and relaxed atmosphere,” said Humberto Chavez, the New York chaplain. “Besides all the fun the fans and players have, we are raising money for a great cause.”
The New York Race Track Chaplaincy serves the Backstretch community—the workers who make racing at each of the NYRA tracks happen, and their families.