Pennsylvania Jockey Jose Flores Dies In Racing Accident At Age 56; Tributes Pour In
Parx Racing announced the death of Pennsylvania jockey Jose Flores in a racing accident on Thursday. He was 56.
Jockey Jose Flores death news
Flores was racing Monday at the suburban Philadelphia track when his horse went down and Flores was thrown off. He hit the ground headfirst and sustained massive trauma. Two other riders — Ruben Silver and Carol Sedano — went down in the accident, although they and their horses emerged relatively unharmed. Sedano only had minor neck soreness.
The jockey was removed from life support Thursday afternoon. Flores’ horse, Love Rules, had to be euthanized after the fall.
Flores won 4,650 races in a career that spanned more than three decades.
Flores’ mounts earned $64 million in nearly 29,000 career starts, according to the Equibase thoroughbred database. He was the top career earner at Parx, and was inducted into the Parx Hall of Fame five years ago.
“It’s unbelievable, just sickening,” Scott Lake, the top trainer at Parx, who had known Flores since 1991, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “He was just tremendous, a nice guy, always a professional.”
The Jockeys’ Guild said Flores is the 157th jockey to die in a racing accident in unofficial records dating back to 1940. The group stated that before Flores, it had no record of a jockey ever being killed in an accident at a Pennsylvania track. Jockey Garrett Gomez died at age 44 of a drug overdose in December 2016.
Parx Racing issued the following statement on Twitter:
The entire Parx Racing team is deeply saddened by the loss of Parx Hall of Fame Jockey, Jose Flores. He embodied all that is good in the world of horse racing, and will be missed immensely. We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to his family https://t.co/yGnls7IBDB
— Parx Racing (@parxracing) March 22, 2018
Flores is survived by his wife, Joanne McDaid-Flores, and their 7-year-old son Julian, plus his two older sons from a previous relationship, Juan and Jose Jr.
Several people in the racing world paid tribute to Flores after the accident:
I am Heart broken do to the news that a good friend Jose Flores passed away 😢😔. RIP my friend.
— Eric Cancel (@Ericcancel18) March 20, 2018
— Eclipse Sportswire (@EclipseSports) March 20, 2018
Deeply saddened by the loss of Jose Flores. He and his family are in our thoughts and prayers and may everyone in this sport take a moment to truly reflect on this tragedy. May we not forget the respect these horseman deserve every time we give them a leg up into their saddle.
— Lacey Gaudet (@GaudetRacing) March 20, 2018
— Chad B. Harmon (@ChadBHarmon) March 20, 2018
Racing is expected to resume at Parx on Saturday.