At a track in Indiana a 17-year old jockey, a rising star in the community and just an apprentice at the time, fell victim to a terrible accident on the track.
On Tuesday night, Juan Saez passed on at Indianapolis’s Methodist Hospital. He had been taken there following the injury. His fellow compatriots at the track decided to not go forward with the Wednesday races, in honour of him. On Thursday, a public memorial will be presented for Saez, where anybody may attend. John Velazquez, jockey and chairman of the Guild, noted that at the very least some consolation could be found in the fact that he was loved and supported by countless family and friends. Indeed, many were in attendance during his races.
Luis Saez, a rising star on the national jockey circuit, is the older brother of Juan. Although they are from Panama, he resides in New York. While riding Montezuma Express, his horse for that particular race, Saez was thrown into immediate peril when Montezuma collided with Paddy’s Note, when they clipped heels during one of the extended stretches of the track. His time was split between a number of locations, from his starts at Indiana Grand to other entries into the Kentucky racetracks, where he led the pack of potential riders by winning a total of 21 times.
Retired rider Julio Espinoza had taken the youthful Saez under his wing, teaching him the ropes of horse racing, and representing him as an agent. Saez was known for his warmth, and his sheer friendliness. This was not the sole instance of injuries on the track recently. Jockey Marcelino Pedroza was thrown from his horse, Platitude. Platitude fell during the race, and had to be euthanised at a later time. Pedroza, however, only suffered minor bruises.
While these accidents go under close scrutiny by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, the last of the races listed will be cancelled.