DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza has been moved to a rehabilitation facility to recover from a fractured vertebra in his neck sustained during a training accident.
Agent Brian Beach tweeted Friday that Espinoza had left the hospital, where he had been up and walking around in the days after being injured last Sunday.
Beach says the 46-year-old rider is “still doing well and is one step closer to going home.”
Espinoza was exercising Bobby Abu Dhabi during morning workouts at Del Mar north of San Diego. Track officials said the horse had an apparent heart attack and Espinoza was thrown off. Bobby Abu Dhabi, a 4-year-old horse, died.
Espinoza rode American Pharoah to a sweep of the Triple Crown in 2015.
The jockey will miss the rest of the Del Mar meet that ends Sept. 3.
ARCADIA, Calif. — Santa Anita has canceled its eight-race card because of wet weather after 3+ inches of rain dropped on the Southern California racetrack in three days.
Officials at the track in Arcadia say heavy overnight rains and more rain throughout the day Thursday made it necessary to cancel. They say the track will make every effort to reschedule the races in the immediate future.
Track superintendent Andy LaRocco says an additional 2 inches of rain was forecast for Thursday.
Live racing will resume on Friday with eight races.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Derby’s purse will be raised to $3 million this May, an increase of $1 million and the first boost in 14 years.
Churchill Downs said Thursday the winner of the 145th running will receive $1.86 million. The runner-up will earn $600,000, with third place worth $300,000, fourth place $150,000 and fifth place $90,000.
The Derby purse had been $2 million since 2005 and $1 million from 1996-2004.
Track President Kevin Flanery attributes the increase to more bettors using historical racing machines – the electronic form of parimutuel betting – at a recently opened facility near the track.
The second and third legs of the Triple Crown offer total purses of $1.5 million in the Preakness and Belmont stakes.
The purse for the Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on May 3 was raised by $250,000 to $1.25 million. It had been worth $1 million since 2011 and was worth $500,000 from 1996-2010.
Churchill Downs also increased purses for some races on the Derby Day undercard on May 4.