Jockey Victor Espinoza Hospitalized with Injuries After Horse Dies During Ride

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2018

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 02: Jockey Victor Espinoza at Churchill Downs on May 2, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images

Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza was hospitalized Sunday after Bobby Abu Dhabi, the horse he was riding, went into cardiac arrest and died while training.

TMZ Sports reported the news, noting Bobby Abu Dhabi was training for multiple scheduled races. TMZ shared video (warning: graphic content) that showed both the horse and Espinoza lying motionless on the track for some time before others came to help.

Bobby Abu Dhabi's owner, Brian Trump, confirmed the horse's death:

Brian Trump @realBrianTrump

It is with great sadness that I can confirm this morning we lost our boy, BOBBY ABU DHABI to a sudden cardiac arrest on the track. While we are deeply saddened and heartbroken by this loss our thoughts are currently with HOF jockey @VictorEspinoza. Please keep him in your prayers https://t.co/sp30wUqYH7

According to the Associated Press (h/t Los Angeles Times), Espinoza was fitted for a neck brace before being taken to the hospital, where he will remain overnight.

Espinoza's agent, Brian Beach, said the jockey fractured a vertebra in his neck and suffered a "stinger" in his left shoulder and arm, per the AP, but is expected to fully recover.

"It looks like we dodged a bullet," he said when explaining there would be no paralysis or additional broken bones.

Espinoza is one of the most accomplished jockeys in history and counts seven Triple Crown race victories on his resume. He nearly won the Triple Crown in 2014 with California Chrome—falling a win short at the Belmont Stakes—and then captured the elusive accomplishment in 2015 with American Pharoah.


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