Jockeys And Jeans Names Jim 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale Person Of The Year - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Jockeys And Jeans Names Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale Person Of The Year

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale

Jockeys and Jeans, an all-volunteer group, will hold its annual fundraiser at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 24 at 6 p.m. and will honor Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale as its Person of the Year. To date, the volunteer group has raised more than $2.6 million for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF), which pays a monthly stipend of $1,000 to 60 jockeys who suffer career-ending injuries. After the fundraiser this year, the group expects to raise more than $3 million.

“Mattress Mack” is the owner of three Gallery Furniture stores in Houston and is internationally known for his business acumen, philanthropy, community involvement and success as a Thoroughbred owner and breeder as well a major bettor.

McIngvale is famously known for picking up a $30 million check from Caesars Palace after he bet $10 million that the Houston Astros would beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2022 World Series. The event will reunite McIngvale with jockey Edgar Prado, one of 16 Hall of Fame riders scheduled to attend the event. Prado rode his horse, Runhappy to victory in the 2015 $1.5 million Breeder's Cup Sprint in a Keeneland track record time of 1:08.58.

As a long supporter of PDJF, he has long been an advocate for not only racing horses drug-free but improving their overall safety and well-being as well as those of their jockeys.

“Jockeys risk their lives every day they race,” said Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale. “And I think they need to be appreciated for the skills they bring to the sport. They make split-second decisions and are judged for those decisions. I think they deserve better medical care and should have a pension to help them after they retire like NFL players. I think they are racing's superstars.”

A legend in Houston and beyond, he opened the doors of his 110,000-square-foot furniture store in recent years to feed and house thousands of storm victims. There, he operated a child daycare for his employees and a vocational school that teaches trades to adults. A stroke victim himself, he helped fund the nation's first Mobile Stroke Unit, based in Houston, and donated millions to NASA to develop an artificial heart.

“Mattress Mack is truly one-of-a-kind, and I believe his acceptance speech will be something the entire racing world will be eager to hear,” said Jockeys and Jeans President Barry Pearl.” He is one of few persons who has been a successful Thoroughbred owner and breeder as well as a major bettor. He sees racing from a most unusual perspective.”

“I love horse racing,” said McIngvale. “It's an industry founded on hope, hope for a better today and hope for a better tomorrow. But I think it has to change, and I believe it will.”

Space is limited, but tickets are still available for purchase at 855-234-7469 or online at ( Single tickets are $125 and VIP tickets are available for $250. Nine-person tables are $1,800 and include being seated with a Hall of Fame Jockey.

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