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Jockey Thrown After Horse Collapses, Dies on Racetrack

Victor Espinoza was injured but will recover
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2018 12:54 AM CDT
This photo shows Bobby Abu Dhabi and jockey Victor Espinoza on April 21, 2018, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.   (Benoit Photo via AP)

(Newser) – A famous jockey was injured Sunday after the horse he was riding went into cardiac arrest and died on the racetrack. Victor Espinoza was riding Bobby Abu Dhabi during morning training at California's Del Mar racetrack when the 4-year-old colt fell, dying instantly and throwing Espinoza, who was motionless on the ground for several minutes, NBC Los Angeles reports. The gates didn't open until noon, so the public didn't witness the incident. Espinoza broke a bone in his neck, Reuters reports, and suffered a "stinger," an injury that causes shoulder pain and numbness. But he was awake and moving his legs, and his agent says he's already regained about 50% of the feeling in his arm and is expected to recover quickly. "It's the kind of thing that football players get all the time," the agent says of the injury. "It looks like we dodged a bullet."

"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," the horse's owner tweeted. Espinoza, 46, has won the Kentucky Derby three times and the Preakness Stakes three times; he guided American Pharoah to a Triple Crown win in 2015 and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame last year. (Read more horse racing stories.)

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