One of the things I just loved about Rachel Alexandra’s story is that it is so positive. Rachel was well taken care of. All her connections doted on her. There was no abuse. No one got hurt. She continues to live, happy and retired at Stonestreet Farm.
But one thing I did not address was the dangers faced by jockeys. Injuries, and worse, happen at the track, to both horses and riders.
But recent news of Jockey Jose Luis Flores’s death at the track is a harsh reminder that horse racing is full of risk. Flores was 57.He was the all-time leading money earner at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania. Many many top jockeys, including Rachel’s jockey, Calvin Borel, are well over 50 years old. In a sport that require immense strength and mental agility, this is kind of shocking. Is there another sport where athletes as old as that continue to perform at the top of their game? None come to mind just now, but if I find some I’ll post them.
According to Blood Horse.com Flores is the 157th jockey to die at the track since 1940. Eight jockeys of Thoroughbreds or Quarterhorses have died since 2008. Not all stories have happy endings.