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Jockey Victor Espinoza hurt at Del Mar when horse collapses, dies

Victor Espinoza, here riding Accelerate at Santa Anita Park in March, was injured at Del Mar on Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Benoit Photo / BENOIT PHOTO)
Victor Espinoza, here riding Accelerate at Santa Anita Park in March, was injured at Del Mar on Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Benoit Photo / BENOIT PHOTO)

DEL MAR, Calif. – Jockey Victor Espinoza was injured when the horse he was riding at Del Mar racetrack collapsed during training and died.

Racetrack officials say Bobby Abu Dhabi suffered an apparent fatal heart attack during a workout Sunday morning. Espinoza was thrown off the horse, then lay motionless for several minutes before being fitted with a neck brace and taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Agent Brian Beach says the 46-year-old Hall of Fame jockey suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck and a “stinger” to the left shoulder and arm. He says Espinoza will remain in the hospital overnight, but doctors expect a full recovery.

Beach says Espinoza, who guided American Pharoah to the triple crown in 2015, suffered no paralysis or other broken bones. He says “it looks like we dodged a bullet.”

Four-year-old Bobby Abu Dhabi was training for the Bing Crosby Stakes next Saturday.


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