Legendary Pennsylvania jockey Jose Flores dies after 'sickening' racing accident

Jockey Jose Flores, 56, was taken off life support on Thursday following an accident in a race on Monday at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa. Parx Racing, in a statement, called Flores an embodiment of "all that is good in the world of horse racing." The accident occurred when Flores was racing in the Philadelphia suburb and his horse fell down, knocking Flores off. He suffered massive head trauma after hitting the ground headfirst.

Flores had 28,684 starts over the course of his career, which went for over 30 years. He won 4,650 of those races, making over $64 million in earnings, according to Equibase. He was inducted into the Parx Hall of Fame five years ago, and was the top career earner at Parx.

Two other riders went down in the accident, but Ruben Silvera and Carol Sedano (along with their horses) came out relatively unscathed, with Silvera walking walking back to the jockey room and Sedano suffering some minor neck soreness. She was released the day after being admitted to a hospital and getting an MRI. Flores' horse, Love Rules, had to be euthanized after the fall.

"It's unbelievable, just sickening," Scott Lake, Parx's all-time leading trainer, said to The Philadelphia Inquirer. "He was just tremendous, a nice guy, always a professional." Lake knew Flores since 1991.

The horse racing world offered condolences for Flores' loss after the accident occurred on Monday.

Flores is survived by his wife, Joanne McDaid-Flores, and their 7-year-old son Julian, plus his two older sons from a previous relationship, Juan and Jose Jr.

Racing is expected to resume at Parx on Saturday.

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