After a two-year absence, jockey Shane Sellers returned to racing Wednesday when he piloted Marylou Whitney's Global Attraction to a fourth-place finish in the second race, a $50,000 maiden special weight contest, at Keeneland.
Before the race Sellers said he was just happy to be back doing what he loves. "Today means a whole lot to me. After riding 15 to 20 years and then suddenly having the thing that I love most taken away from me, just getting another shot feels great."
In his return, the Steve Asmussen-trained Storm Gluch went gate-to-wire to register a 4 3/4-length win over Announcement, with Mississippi River another three-quarters of a length back in third. Global Attraction, who is trained by Nick Zito, was a length behind Mississippi River.
Sellers was forced to retire in December of 2000 after suffering an injury in the gate that required surgery on his knee.
The Louisiana native briefly returned to the track last August, but only had 39 mounts, with four wins, before retiring again due to reoccurring knee pain.
"I feel great. I know I'll have to ride with some pain but I'm looking forward to another 15 to 20 years on the track," Sellers said. "I've been working toward a comeback basically since I was injured. I've worked on my knee as well as getting my weight back down. I'm very thankful that trainers are still willing to take a chance on me."
Sellers said Wednesday's mount will be his only one at Keeneland, but he looks forward to the opening of the Churchill Downs Fall meet.
"I'm excited about Churchill opening. I'm just going to ride sparingly and work my back to four, five, six, or mounts per day," the rider said.