LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, June 24, 2015) – Spring Meet leading riders Corey Lanerie and Julien Leparoux head a group of more than a dozen members of the Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) jockey colony who will join retired Hall of Fame rider Pat Day, popular mascot Churchill Charlie and other track representatives on Thursday, June 25 for the annual visit by the track’s jockeys to Louisville’s Kosair Children’s Hospital.
The riding stars are expected to arrive at the hospital at 231 E. Chestnut Street at approximately 1:45-2 p.m. The jockeys, all of whom will wear racing silks, will gather in the hospital’s first floor reception area. They will separate into teams led by hospital staff and volunteers who will guide them through the hospital to visit and share gifts with patients and families.
Lanerie, who has won seven of the last eight riding titles at Churchill Downs, and Leparoux, who has nine “leading jockey” honors at the track, are in a tight battle for top honors in the ongoing Spring Meet, which has three remaining racing days and concludes with a “Downs After Dark” racing program on Saturday, June 27. Lanerie has collected 37 wins during the meet and leads Leparoux by a single victory heading into Thursday’s 5 p.m. twilight racing program at the home of the Kentucky Derby.
Day is the most successful jockey in the history of Churchill Downs with 2,482 career victories beneath the track’s Twin Spires and had an overall career total of 8,803 wins that ranks fourth in American racing history. His victories include a triumph aboard Lil E. Tee in the 1992 Kentucky Derby that forever linked Day with Kosair Children’s Hospital. He wore a cap bearing the hospital’s logo in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle to fulfill a promise made to a patient during his visit to the hospital a day earlier.
Other riding stars expected to participate in Thursday’s Kosair Children’s Hospital visit include Robby Albarado, Shaun Bridgmohan, Brian Hernandez Jr., Jon Court, Joe Johnson, Joe Rocco Jr., James Graham, Dylan Davis, Francisco Torres, Marcelino Pedroza, Jareth Loveberry and apprentice jockey Sebastian Saez. Other riders could be added to the roster before Thursday’s visit.
The visit by Churchill Downs jockeys to Kosair Children’s Hospital is an annual tradition that was launched nearly 30 years ago. The first visit occurred on Kentucky Oaks Day in 1988 when four Kentucky Derby jockeys visited young patients at the hospital. That foursome was comprised of future Hall of Famers Gary Stevens (winner of the Derby on Winning Colors), Day (runner-up on Forty Niner), Eddie Delahoussaye (third on Risen Star) and Jerry Bailey (fourth on Proper Reality).
The Kosair Children’s Hospital visit was scheduled on Kentucky Oaks Day in its early years, but as the day’s racing and entertainment schedule expanded the event was eventually scheduled later in the Churchill Downs Spring Meet. Sixteen current jockeys joined Day for last year’s visit to the hospital.
Media coverage of the annual visit by Churchill Downs jockeys to Kosair Children’s Hospital is welcomed. Interested media should enter the hospital through its main entrance on E. Chestnut to meet with the riders, Churchill Downs representatives and Kosair Children’s Hospital staff and volunteers. If they wish, media crews can accompany jockeys on their tours.
About Kosair Children’s Hospital
As Kentucky and Southern Indiana’s only full-service, free-standing pediatric hospital, Kosair Children’s Hospital, along with its predecessor hospitals, have cared for children for more than a century without regard to their families’ ability to pay. The hospital also is an advocate for the health and well-being of all children. The 267-bed hospital is the region’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and serves as the primary pediatric teaching facility for the University of Louisville School of Medicine. In 2007 and 2012, Kosair Children’s Hospital received the prestigious Magnet designation recognizing excellence in nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. More information is available at KosairChildrensHospital.com.
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 142st running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 7, 2016. The track’s 2015 Spring Meet continues through June 27. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships eight times. Information is available at www.ChurchillDowns.com.