11/11/2005 1:00AM

Meadowlands jock challenge raises $25K


The Katrina Invitational Jockey Challenge at The Meadowlands Racetrack raised $25,168 Thursday night to benefit Louisiana horsemen.

The event attracted Louisiana riders Kent Desormeaux, Craig Perret, Mark Guidry, and Eddie Martin Jr. They rode in one race, the third, against Gary Stevens, Aaron Gryder, Joe Bravo, Edgar Prado, and Stewart Elliott.

The challenge was originally planned for four races, but the riders spent the additional time signing autographs as part of the fund-raising effort.

The jockeys donated all riding fees and commissions from the four races, a total of $12,378. The Big M added $10,000, and fans and horsemen at the track gave $2,790.

"I just want to thank the Meadowlands fans for digging into your pockets and reaching deep and having some heart and helping these people to have a little bit of comfort time when we show up with some money for them," said Desormeaux.

The money will be turned over to the Race Track Chaplaincy for distribution.