Apprentice jockey Saez dies following Indiana Grand
Apprentice jockey Juan Saez, 17, died late Tuesday night in an Indianapolis
hospital due to injuries sustained in a spill at Indiana Grand earlier in the
Montezuma Express, ridden by Saez, clipped heels with the horse in front of
him, Paddy’s Notes. As a result of the contact in the turn of the six-furlong
race, Montezuma Express fell, causing Saez to be unseated. A trailing horse,
Masaru ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., was unable to avoid the fallen horse and
also fell, unseating Santana.
Saez, a native of Panama and younger brother of jockey Luis Saez, was
airlifted from the scene by Life Flight and transported to Methodist Hospital in
Indianapolis where he later died from severe head trauma. Masaru was euthanized
as a result of the incident. No other riders were transported to the hospital.
Indiana Grand canceled the final race on Tuesday’s program and all of
Wednesday’s card in the wake of the accident.
Saez was a graduate of the Laffit Pincay riding school in Panama City. He won
89 races from 440 mounts and had been the leading rider at the Ellis Park meet
this summer with 51 wins.
Saez is the first jockey killed in action in the U.S. since July 2012 when an
accident at Pleasanton in California claimed the life of Jorge Harrera.
According to the Jockeys’ Guild, Saez is believed to be the 153rd jockey to lose
his life at a North American racetrack since 1940.