Lady and The Track | June 5, 2020

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Ransom Notes: In Memory of Jose Flores

By Margaret Ransom

Jockey Jose Flores. Photo: Equi-Photo

Today I was writing an opinion piece about the Breeders’ Cup and how I think the event has changed — and not necessarily all for the better — when my Twitter feed showed the notification from Jim Dunleavy of the Daily Racing Form announcing that, this morning, jockey Jose Flores had succumbed to the catastrophic injuries he suffered in a spill at Parx on Monday.

I didn’t know Flores aside from his name and reputation as a leading rider in Pennsylvania, but my reaction was overwhelming sadness. Instantly, my bitching about the Breeders’ Cup felt so trivial and my thoughts about the Breeders’ Cup, instead, centered on the fact that Flores never rode in the event and never would, despite giving his entire career — and ultimately his life — to the sport of horse racing.

I’m not a person who openly criticizes jockeys, either publicly or in private. Sure I’ve said to myself or to friends that perhaps a certain rider made a poor choice or that maybe one didn’t turn in the best ride, but you won’t ever see me on social media — or anywhere else for that matter — criticizing, critiquing, bashing or blaming one for a horse’s poor finish, regardless of the circumstances.

I will never be a jockey. From the time I was… (more)

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