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Friends grieve at the loss of Kentucky Derby jockey Miguel Mena in Louisville.

Miguel Mena’s foot never recovered completely. The Peruvian jockey did his racecourse rounds mostly by bicycle three years after breaking eight bones in his right ankle and heel in a crash at the Fair Grounds. Walking was too painful.

Which just adds to the mystery surrounding his demise. Mena had been traveling in the direction of home when he abruptly exited a Lyft car and started out on foot between the Blankenbaker Parkway and Hurstbourne Lane exits on westbound Interstate-64 in Louisville on Oct. 31.

“I have no idea how or why he got up there or what he was doing,” the jockey’s agent, Tim Hanisch, said. “He didn’t like walking.” It’s incomprehensible. Hopefully, the cops will be able to find out why.”

Hanisch said that he had spent the evening with Mena and that they had had a few drinks. The degree of Mena’s drinking was subsequently verified by the Jefferson County coroner’s office, which estimated his blood alcohol level to be.249, more than three times Kentucky’s legal driving limit of.08.

Mena had made several “poor choices,” according to Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders, and the Lyft driver stated he had disputed with the jockey before letting him out near the junction of Hurstbourne and Bunsen Parkway.

Sanders said he believes Mena went up the ramp to eastbound I-64, successfully across the eastbound lanes of the highway and a concrete barrier, and was then hit in the right westbound lane after recreating his movements via interviews with witnesses. According to accident reports, the driver of the vehicle was Rex Ecarma, a former University of Louisville tennis coach who passed a field sobriety test but refused to speak to police.

Mena died of blunt force injuries, according to state medical examiner Dr. Lauren Lippincott.

He died six days before his 35th birthday, one week after winning the last of his 2,079 wins in a claiming event at Keeneland riding Delta Gamma Cats. Mena’s rides won more than $72 million, making him the 15th-winningest jockey in Churchill Downs history and a two-time Stephen Foster Stakes winner.

“He didn’t ride the finest horses in the races the previous couple of years, but he always gave them a pretty good opportunity,” said fellow rider Brian Hernandez. “However, when he did receive the big break, he made the most of it.”

More:’He was an inspiration,’ says horse racing world after Miguel Mena’s death

Mena was like a “third brother” to Hernandez, a coworker and rival who he turned to for pre-race analysis and post-race company. For more than a decade, the two men shared a corner of the jockeys room at Churchill Downs. They dined together virtually every day while riding in New Orleans, away from their homes in Kentucky.

“He was always very knowledgeable about horses and knew which horses would be in certain races,” Hernandez added. “I believe the best way to phrase it is a very savvy rider; simply knowing what horse raced well the last time and understanding what horse he needed to defeat.”

“I could always ask him, ‘What do you think about this horse or that horse?’ and he would always respond with such wisdom. He was one of those men who was constantly focused on his work.”

Mena, like the brave Cajuns Calvin Borel and Corey Lanerie, had a reputation for riding close to the inside rail to preserve ground. Mena’s 2020 Kentucky Derby ride on ninth-place finisher Necker Island is attributable to this quality, according to trainer Chris Hartman. Mena also finished 20th in the 2010 Derby on Backtalk.

Lanerie added, “I felt he was a wonderful rider.” “He was in my way a lot of the time since he rode the rail like me.” Some males aren’t willing to go that close. I’m not sure what it is — maybe they don’t want to get caught down there. But Miguel and I seem to like it, and he’s terrific at it.”

Mena’s bravery and perseverance were recognized in 2020 when he was designated the inaugural winner of the Randy Romero Pure Courage Award, which is given to a current jockey who has overcome hardship.

“On days when other riders wouldn’t be there, he was always there,” Hartman added. “He came back from a serious injury that most riders wouldn’t be able to recover from.” I didn’t believe he’d be able to recover from it.”

Breeders’ Cup Classic 2021: Post positions, odds, and entrants

Mena was out of commission for more than seven months before returning to racing, but he maintained an ostensibly happy demeanor, often beginning talks with, “Hey, Cholo,” a Spanish phrase that may be used alternately to mean fondness or disdain.

“He never went back to normal after the accident,” Hernandez added, “but he never allowed it get to him.” “He was the sort of man who would declare, ‘Hey Cholo, I ain’t dead yet,’ when things were awful. Everyone was referred to as Cholo by him. He’d get up and shout, ‘Hey Cholo, I ain’t dead yet,’ after he won a big one.

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People also ask

What happened to the jockey Miguel Mena?

Jockey Miguel Mena fatally struck by car driven by ex-Louisville tennis coach Rex Ecarma. Former University of Louisville tennis coach Rachelito “Rex” Ecarma was driving the car that fatally struck jockey Miguel Mena Sunday evening, according to an accident report by the Jeffersontown police.

What jockey died today?

(CNN) Miguel Mena, one of the most successful jockeys in Churchill Downs history, was killed in a pedestrian accident in Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday night, just six days from his 35th birthday, the racetrack said in a statement on Monday.

Why was Miguel Mena walking on the interstate?

Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders told the Courier-Journal that Mena was apparently exiting a rideshare vehicle and walked up a ramp onto Interstate 64. He was struck just after 7:30 p.m. after attempting to cross traffic lanes. According to the report, there are “no charges pending.”

How big is a horse jockey?

Despite their light weight, they must be able to control a horse that is moving at 40 mph (64 km/h) and weighs 1,190.5 lb (540.0 kg). Though there is no height limit for jockeys, they are usually fairly short due to the weight limits. Jockeys typically stand around 4 ft 10 in (147 cm) to 5 ft 7 in (170 cm).

Who was the jockey that died last week?

AP McCOY has led the tributes to ‘miracle man’ former jockey Tom Greenway following his death aged just 38. The ex-jumps rider rode more than 40 winners as an amateur and had a spell with famed Grand National winner Ginger McCain. Stunned & deeply saddened to hear that @jockey42 has passed away.

How many jockeys have died?

It estimates that more than 100 jockeys have died as a result of racing accidents since 1950, and five jockeys were killed between October 1988 and September 1991. In addition, 37 jockeys were permanently disabled from spinal cord injuries in racing mishaps.

Has a jockey ever died in the Kentucky Derby?

Frayling. Hayes died in the latter part of the race and his body remained in the saddle when Sweet Kiss crossed the finish line, winning by a head, making him the first, and so far only, jockey known to have won a race after death.

Who was the tallest jockey ever?

But, the title of the tallest jockey of all time goes to Manute Bol formerly of the NBA. He stands 7-foot-7. He received a jockey’s license from the Indiana Horse Racing Commission to ride at Hoosier Park.

What nationality are most horse jockeys?

what-nationality-are-most-horse-jockeys

The best jockeys come from Latin America, and it accounts for the highest percentage of top Jockeys in the United States and across the globe. Panama, Mexico, and Puerto Rico are all well-represented amongst elite jockeys. To be a successful Jockey takes a unique skill set.

What horse died in Grand National 2021?

The news that Eclair Surf had been put down followed the announcement by Paul Nolan on Saturday evening that Discorama had suffered a fatal injury between the 12th and 13th fences. He was the third horse in the last three runnings of the National to die as a result of an injury while galloping rather than in a fall.

How many female horse jockeys are there?

The study exposed the shocking statistic that less than 15% of licensed professional jockeys are women, despite representing the overwhelming majority of equestrians overall. Furthermore, only around 5% of available competitive rides were taken by women in the timeframe the study examined.

Why are jockeys wearing black armbands today?

Jockeys wear black armbands following death of stalls handler Stephen Yarborough. Jockeys across Britain on Saturday sported black armbands as they joined racegoers and officials in paying their respects to Stephen Yarborough, the stalls handler who was fatally injured at Haydock on Friday.

How do horse jockeys get paid?

Pay for jockeys varies and is based upon the experience and track record of success. In 2015, beginning jockeys earned $28 per race on the low end and as much as $124,000 for the top prize in a premier race. Even in a Triple Crown race, jockeys that don’t finish in the top five make as little as $500.

Do jockeys get hurt?

The average jockey gets sidelined by injuries about three times a year. A jockey’s life off the horse is grueling and, at times, dangerous. The spectre haunting almost every rider is extra weight.

How often do jockeys fall?

Internationally, jockey falls have been reported to occur at a rate of 3 to 4 falls per 1000 race rides, with 27% to 44% resulting in injury.

Do jockeys get injured?

do-jockeys-get-injured

It is a common occurrence for jockeys to get injured, meaning that many are carrying an injury when taking part in the majority of races.

Has a female horse won the Kentucky Derby?

Winning Colors (1988), Genuine Risk (1980) and Regret (1915) are the only fillies to win the Kentucky Derby. Each raced against males in advance of running in the Kentucky Derby. Winning Colors and Genuine Risk are the only two fillies to compete in all three Triple Crown races.

How old was Willie Shoemaker when he died?

how-old-was-willie-shoemaker-when-he-died

72 years (1931–2003)

Bill Shoemaker / Age at death

Do they still shoot race horses?

do-they-still-shoot-race-horses

Most horses do not die directly because of their injuries on the race course, but are instead put down, often by being shot or euthanased.

Who is the oldest jockey still riding in UK?

Britain’s oldest licensed jockey, David Robinson, (pictured) picked up his 43rd career win at Godstone point-to-point on Sunday (10 February).

What is the average jockey salary?

Salary Ranges for Horse Jockeys The salaries of Horse Jockeys in the US range from $10,049 to $271,427 , with a median salary of $48,880 . The middle 57% of Horse Jockeys makes between $48,882 and $123,036, with the top 86% making $271,427.

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