CHICAGO – June 8, 2016 — Belmont Park-based jockeys “bust a move” by starring in a video doing The Running Man Challenge to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF). The video is available on the PDJF’s YouTube channel here (or click on the video below).
The jockeys danced in response to a May 14 challenge issued via Twitter by Thoroughbred owner, bloodstock advisor, and former Breeders’ Cup Board Member Bradley Weisbord. Weisbord Tweeted he’d donate $1000 to the PDJF if the jockeys produced a video of themselves doing the Internet dance craze and quickly challenged other owners to join him. Twenty owners accepted and each donated $1000 to PDJF to have their silks worn in the video.
“I wanted to do something to help the jockeys who do so much for us as owners,” explained Weisbord. “They put their lives on the line for us to enjoy this great sport and this is a small way for us to give back. Hopefully everyone enjoys watching them dance as much as we enjoy watching them ride.”
The dancing jockeys wore silks representing Al Shaqab Racing; Coolmore America; Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners; Glen Hill Farm; Godolphin; Michael and Libby Imperio; Robert LaPenta; Newtownanner Stud Farm; New York Racing Association, Inc.; William J. Punk and Philip DiLeo; Mike Repole; Martin S. Schwartz; Sheep Pond Partners; Sperando Racing Stable; St. Elias Stables; Ten Strike Racing; Teresa Viola Racing Stables; West Point Thoroughbreds; WinStar Farm; and Zayat Stables.
“We’re always up for something zany like this if it benefits the disabled riders,” said PDJF Board Member John Velazquez. “I want to thank the jockeys who danced and especially Mr. Weisbord and all the owners who accepted his challenge. The response was overwhelming; we actually had more owners wanting to participate than jockeys available.”
“Our jockeys take incredible risks pursuing their passion each and every time they get a leg up,” said Terry Finley, founder and president of West Point Thoroughbreds. “It’s our responsibility as owners to help them by supporting PDJF initiatives so jockeys know we have their backs should they experience a life-altering disability.”
The viral Running Man Challenge dance is widely attributed to two New Jersey teens and boosted by a pair of University of Maryland basketball players. The dance is typically performed with gyrating arms and fast-moving crossed feet to the ‘90s hit song, “My Boo,” by Ghost Town DJs.
The Belmont Park jockey colony challenges other jockeys to show us their moves by producing their own Running Man Challenge dances!