LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A young apprentice jockey has died after he was injured during a race Tuesday night in Indiana.
It happened at the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville.
Authorities say the horse 17-year-old Juan Saez was riding clipped heels with a horse in front of him. Saez died after being airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital.
No other riders were hurt, but Saez's horse was put down.
On Wednesday the Jockeys' Guild released the following statement:
"There are no words to describe the devastation that we are all feeling," said Terry Meyocks, National Manager of the Guild. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Juan's family during this tragic time."
"Juan was such a talented and sweet kid, with a promising future," said John Velazquez, Chairman of the Guild. "It is like losing a member of the family. We are competing against one another on the track, but off of the track, we are all very close. Since his family was in transit, it gives some comfort knowing that he was surrounded by his fellow riders, his agent, Julio Espinoza, and close friends, when he passed."
Saez comes from a racing family, and was the younger brother of journeyman Luis Saez, cousin to Gabriel Saez and Angel S. Arroyo. Saez received the leading rider title at Ellis Park this summer, with 51 wins from 194 starts. He graduated at the top of his class from of the Laffit Pincay Jr. Jockey School in Panama.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission is reviewing the incident.