Julien Leparoux

Julien Leparoux

Anne M. Eberhardt

Leparoux to Return to Riding July 1

Six-time leading Churchill leader will return to the saddle July 1.

Jockey Julien Leparoux, who returned to the saddle galloping horses at Churchill Downs June 23, will resume race riding next Thursday, July 1.

Leparoux, who has won or shared six riding titles at Churchill Downs, was injured May 14 during the running of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico. Leparoux suffered a compression fracture in his vertebrae after being unseated from Diva Delite when she clipped heels.

Leparoux rode the next day on the Preakness Day card, winning two races, and won two races the following day at Churchill Downs. The injury was discovered during an MRI on May 18.

“I didn’t think I was that badly hurt,” Leparoux said. “But that is all behind me now, in the past.”

During the five weeks off, Leparoux spent a week and a half in his native France and another week in the Bahamas.

Leparoux’s agent, Steve Bass, said the 26-year-old jockey would ride the final four days of the meet and stay in Kentucky for a couple of weeks after the meet before going to Saratoga about a week before that meet opens July 23.