Top jockey Victor Espinoza has been injured in a training run in Del Mar, California, where his horse, Bobby Abu Dhabi, died suddenly of a heart attack.
TMZ shared the video of the accident which looks like it must have been terrible as both the horse and Espinoza, 47, are lying on the track. Brian Trump, the owner of Bobby Abu Dhabi, confirmed that the horse had died and the jockey was hospitalized.
“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.”
Espinoza reportedly never lost consciousness on the track, but he has a shoulder injury with soreness and some numbness.
Horse Racing Nation says that the medical incident that killed the 4-year-old chestnut colt happened at 9 a.m. on Sunday. TVG‘s Christina Blacker says that Victor Espinoza took a hard fall.
“Espinoza hit the ground very hard and was on the track for quite some time.”
Espinoza was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital where he has feeling in his extremities, but he’s being observed. There will be a necropsy performed on Bobby Abu Dhabi, which is the rule for all deaths on California tracks during training and races.
Bobby Abu Dhabi is the son of Macho Uno and was trained by Peter Miller. The horse fell between the 16th pole and the wire.
The Los Angeles Times spoke to Espinoza’s agent, Brian Beach, who explained that despite the tragedy, Espinoza got lucky, and should make a full recovery. Espinoza was fitted for a neck brace before being taken off the track, and the hospital says he suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck and what is described as a stinger in his left shoulder and arm where he landed.
Beach says that Espinoza should be released from the hospital tomorrow.
“It looks like we dodged a bullet.”
At the time of the fall, Victor Espinoza and Bobby Abu Dhabi were training for next Saturday’s race, the Bing Crosby Stakes.
“He has regained about 50% of the feeling already. Doctors are optimistic he’ll fully recover fairly quickly.”
Those unfamiliar with horseracing might recognize Victor Espinoza from the Chase Mobile App commercials where the horse munches on the hat of the woman who awards the trophy to the winner.