Some sad news came out of American racing at Churchill Downs this weekend as it was announced that Odanis Acuna, an exercise rider for top US trainer Kenny McPeek had died during a training incident on Saturday Morning in Kentucky.
The 42 year old work rider from Cuba had been at the heart of the operations that took place at the McPeek stables for around a decade. He was going through a normal breezing routine with a two year old out of the yard when the horses two front legs broke down sending the jockey off the horse.
From this he incurred neck and head injuries that turned out to be fatal. This was something of a freak accident within the yard as this type of thing does not happen every day and there hasn't been many occasions in racing history that anything like this has happened.
(Credit Racing Post and Daily Racing Form) Trainer Kenny McPeek said: "Obviously everyone is extremely upset about this.
"Odanis was a fantastic person and one of the hardest-working people you'll ever meet. It's a real tragedy."
Also to add to the pain of the work rider passing away, in the process which led to his death, the two year old horse called New York Harbour had to be put down and all activity at Churchill Downs was abandoned for the rest of the morning.
This is such a sad and unfortunate event that will take its toll on American racing after such an amazing few days just weeks ago at the Churchill Downs track with the Breeders Cup meeting.