River Downs jockeys Crystal Carmen (left), Amanda Tamburello (middle) and Natalie Turner (right) plan to join in to help fight breast cancer.
River Downs will host a "Ladies Day" on Saturday that will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Cincinnati. The free day-long event will feature a giveaway of 200 "Goodie Bags" with items provided by many of the vendors that will be at the track. Looking to hit the daily double? Certified Medium Communicator Deborah Williams will be in attendance and may help you find your fortunes in life. The track will serve up a new rum-based drink named "The Pink Flamingo" to go with the colorful spirit of the afternoon. There will be a Silent Auction featuring items from Mitchell's Day Spa, Jeff Ruby's Restaurant, Limelight Photo Works, Cincinnati Reds, Kings Island, the Montgomery Inn, artist Ron Lightner and quality Gift Baskets from the various vendors. River Downs officials will make a presentation to Susan G. Komen representatives after the sixth race with Rosie Red, who may be in pink.
The special guest of honor is no stranger to River Downs, she is former leading rider Patricia "P.J." Cooksey. Cooksey, a breast cancer survivor herself, completed her riding career with 2,137 victories from 18,266 mounts. She is one of only two female riders to compile more than 2,000 career wins, a milestone she shares with all-time leader and Thoroughbred racing Hall of Fame member Julie Krone. Cooksey was racing's all-time female wins leader in 1988 before Krone surged past her into the top spot. She was the second woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby and the first to ride in the Preakness. The richest win of her career took place River Downs when she captured the $200,000 Cradle Stakes aboard Moving Van. She also won the state's richest race for 2-year-old fillies when she won the $100,000 Bassisnet Stakes at River Downs aboard Ivorilla.
The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame enshrined Cooksey as a member in 2002. She was honored for her successful battle against cancer that same year when she received the Lombardi Symbol of Courage Award, which is presented by the Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. to a prominent athlete who is forced to battle cancer. She became the first ever female jockey to win the New York Racing Association's 2004 Mike Venezia Award, which annually honors a jockey who exemplifies "extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship" in their professional and personal lives. Cooksey will be on hand throughout the afternoon to autograph photos.
Admission and parking is free at River Downs. Post time for the first live race is 1:00 p.m. The Silent Auction will end when the gates fly open for the 7th race, approximately 4:00 p.m.