Photo: Jon Durr/Eclipse Sportswire
Training was canceled Saturday morning at Churchill Downs, the Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee reported, after 42-year-old exercise rider Odanis Acuna died as a result of injuries when his mount broke down on the track.
Acuna worked for trainer Kenny McPeek.
“Obviously everyone is extremely upset about this,” McPeek told DRF. “Odanis was a fantastic person and one of the hardest-working people you’ll ever meet. It’s a real tragedy.”
The exercise rider, a native of Cuba, suffered fatal head and neck injuries.
Per the report, the worker was an un-raced 2-year-old by Verrazano, New York Harbor, that had to be euthanized.
Let us never forget: Jockeys and exercise riders are the unsung heroes of racing because they literally risk their lives every time they mount up. @KennyMcPeek says this is the first time this has happened to one of his riders in 30+ years of training. Such a tragedy. https://t.co/kLUAT7Tn1P
— Marty McGee (@DRFMcGee) November 10, 2018