06/28/2005 11:00PM

Peruvian riders to benefit their old school


River Downs will honor Rafael Bejarano former leading rider at the track, and host the Peruvian All-Star Competition on Monday, July 11. A two-race series showcasing the talents of the top Peruvian-born jockeys riding in the United States, the event will raise funds for the Jockey School of Peru.

Rafael Bejarano, a Jockey School graduate whose first victory came at River Downs, will be joined by fellow alumni Edgar Prado, Jorge Chavez, and Jose Valdivia Jr. Also expected are John Jacinto, David Cora, Miguel Mena, Godofredo Laurente, Marco Ccamaque, and Cesar Camaque, in addition to Juan Enrigues and Edgar Paucar, regular riders at River Downs.

The event was organized by Kentucky-based trainer Dante Zanelli Jr., a Peruvian native who brought Bejarano to the States and put him on his first winner.

The riders will donate half their earnings on the program to the Jockey School. A silent auction and autograph session will be held so fans may also make donations to the school.

* Continuing a tradition that began when two separate organizations conducted racing at River Downs, titles were awarded to the leading trainer and jockey at the track's Turf Club meet, which concluded Saturday.

Joe Woodard led all trainers for the fifth consecutive meet at River Downs, saddling 15 winners to edge out Reid Gross by one win. Woodard's main client, Louisville businessman Billy Hays, won the owners title for the fifth time.

Jockey Rodney Prescott led the Turf Club session with 66 victories, three more than Perry Ouzts. Prescott wasted no time getting off to a quick start at the Jockey Club meet, which began Sunday, riding three winners on the seven-race card.