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Belmont Jockeys Visit the Ronald McDonald House

Last week six world-class jockeys from Belmont Park rode into the hearts of families at The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island (RMH-LI) as part of the annual Jockey Day event.

Two days before the 143rd running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes, Janice Blake-Baeza, Javier Castellano, Ryan Curatolo, Ramon Dominguez, Maylan Studart and John Velazquez travelled to RMH-LI in New Hyde Park to mingle with children at the House. Clad in their colorful silks, the riders posed for photographs and distributed gifts of personally autographed riding goggles and hats.

“This is a great event for our children and their families,” said RMH-LI Executive Director Matthew Campo. “Meeting the jockeys is always a wonderful time for everyone.

Castellano, Dominguez and Velazquez, who had mounts in this year’s Belmont, with Castellano riding Stay Thirsty, Dominguez riding Mucho Macho Man and Velazquez riding Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. Velazquez won the 2007 race with the filly Rags to Riches, the first female to win the Belmont in 102 years.

The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It is a ‘home-away-from-home’ for families who are caring for seriously ill children undergoing medical treatment in area hospitals. Located on the campus of the Cohen Children’s Medical Center, the House accommodates families in a warm and supportive environment. Since opening in 1986, approximately 16,000 families from the United States and more than 80 countries around the world have been served. Many of the families are from Long Island and other parts of the Metropolitan area. For more information about RMH-LI, log on to www.rmhlongisland.org or www.facebook.com/rmhli.