Veteran jockey Jose Luis Flores, a 2013 inductee of the Parx Racing Hall of Fame, was critically injured in a ninth race spill at the Bensalem, Pa., racetrack Monday and is on life support, according to Parx director of racing Sam Elliott.
Flores was aboard Love Rules for trainer Harold Wyner, battling for the lead in the six-furlong event when his mount suddenly fell, apparently from a fractured shoulder, Elliott said. A trailing horse in the race appeared to strike Flores.
Flores is at the intensive care unit at Aria – Jefferson Health Torresdale Hospital at Red Lion and Knights Roads in Philadelphia.
Two other jockeys, Carol Cedeno and Ruben Silvera, fell but were not seriously injured. Love Rules was euthanized.
A 56-year-old native of Peru and son of a jockey, Flores began his career in his native country, then rode for several years in Panama before coming to the United States in 1987. According to Daily Racing Form, Flores was four-time leading rider at Penn National before moving his tack to Parx (then Philadelphia Park) in the late 1990s, where he became that track's all-time leading money-winning rider.
According to Equibase, Flores has ridden 4,650 winners from 28,684 mounts, his best year coming in 1987 when he won 380 races from 1,694 mounts. His biggest win was aboard Loaded Gun in the Grade 3 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup Handicap for owner-trainer Janis Gerace in 1999.
Out of respect for Flores and his family, Elliott said, Tuesday's scheduled live program at Parx has been cancelled.
“To know the kind of guy he is, every jockey was at the hospital last night comforting his wife (Joanne),” said Elliott. “He's been a mentor to other riders and a professional gentleman at all times. He's the epitome of what a jockey should be. These jockeys are devastated. We will try and regroup and come back on Saturday.”
Flores has two adult children and a seven-year-old son.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.