Veteran rider Jose Flores dies after Philadelphia fall
Jose Luis Flores, a longserving jockey with 4,650 career victories, has died in hospital in Philadelphia after a fall at Parx Racing.
Flores, 56, was left in a coma with extensive cranial and spinal injuries in a fall when his mount Love Rules suffered a fatal breakdown while duelling for the lead in a minor six-furlong contest in the ninth race on Monday's card at the Philadelphia venue.
After being on life support in an intensive-care unit, the popular veteran died on Thursday. Tuesday's scheduled card at Parx had been cancelled as a mark of respect.
According to the Daily Racing Form, Flores was the dominant rider at Penn National racetrack in the 1990s, with more than 2,200 winners at the venue, where he was a four-time leading rider.
Known for his association with claiming-race king Scott Lake, for whom he rode 1,203 winners, he relocated to more upmarket Philadelphia Park (now Parx) in 1999 and won the riding title there in 2004. He has won 2,255 races at Parx, where he is the all-time leading rider in earnings.
A native of Peru, Flores's sole Graded-stakes win came aboard Loaded Gun in the $200,000 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup Handicap, a Grade 3 event, in 1999.
Flores is survived by his wife, the former jockey Joanne McDaid-Flores, two adult children and a seven-year-old son.
According to the US Jockeys' Guild, he is the 157th jockey to die owing to race-related injuries since 1940 and the first since Mario Chavez at Will Rogers Downs in October last year.
Two other horses were involved in the Parx incident, after which Love Rules was put down. The Pooch also came down and was walked back to his barn, while Easy River, who unseated his rider while avoiding the stricken horses, was taken back to the paddock. The Pooch's rider was reportedly unhurt while Easy River's jockey Carol Cedeno was discharged from hospital on Monday after x-rays.
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