(Edited Santa Anita Park press release)
Jockey Kyle Kaenel has retired due to extensive injuries the 21-year-old Oceanside, N.Y., native suffered in a riding spill at Fairplex Park in Southern California Sept. 27.
“I have a broken (right) collarbone, a broken acromion, a broken shoulder blade, and a pinched nerve in my back, for which I have to see a spine surgeon on Wednesday,” said the tall and lanky Kaenel, son of legendary former rider Cowboy Jack Kaenel, who was the youngest jockey to win a Triple Crown race when he rode Aloma’s Ruler at the age of 16 in the 1982 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
“I already broke my neck and back in two places, and each time doctors have told me that’s it, as far as riding is concerned,” Kaenel continued. “I’ve got a family now, so I feel lucky if I can walk away from this one. I’ve got a beautiful wife (Trinity) and a beautiful little boy (Owen). I’ve got to take care of them.”
The Kaenels live in Glendora, Calif.
“It wouldn’t be fair to them for me to ask them to push me around in a wheelchair,” Kaenel said. “I rode for five years. It was a fun career, and I will miss it terribly.”