Popular rider Miguel Mena hit milestone win number 2,000 after taking the fifth race July 3 at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky. The victory came aboard Michael Langford’s Substantial ($6.80) in a one-mile maiden special weight on the turf for trainer Randy Morse.
“People on Twitter had told me I was one win away,” said Mena, a native of Peru. “I’ve been riding since I was 16 and I came to the U.S. when I was 17… so it’s been awhile … I’ve been here 15 years. I feel good about 2,000. I’ve put a lot of hard work into it and it has paid off. I came with a lot (of) dreams and I was very hungry and worked my ass off. I’m very grateful for this country and it has given me a better life, not only for me but (for) my family. I’m very grateful to America.
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A three-horse spill in Thursday’s eighth race at Fair Grounds Race Course & slots injured a pair of riders. Kerwin Clark was aboard ill-fated Ellashoo when the 4-year-old filly broke down nearing the five-sixteenth’s pole, setting off a chain reaction that resulted a pair of other horses falling – A Fashion Affair (Miguel Mena) and Queen Bernardina (Gabriel Saez).
Clark complained of pain in his neck, jaw and ribs and Miguel Mena, who entered the day as Fair Grounds leading rider at the meet with 55 victories, suffered an injury to his right ankle. Both were transported to University Medical Center of New Orleans for further evaluation.
Mena was diagnosed with multiple fractures in his right ankle and heel, according to drf.com. The jockey could miss as much as six months because of the injury.
Clark suffered a collapsed lung, a broken jaw, and at least one broken rib, per his agent, Charles Ashy Jr.
Saez got up under his own power and rode the next race. Ellashoo had to be put down. Trainer Bret Calhoun reported that his Queen Bernardina “appears to be fine”. Andrew Valenzuela, trainer of A Fashion Affair, was unable to be reached.