Jockey Shane Sellers is set to make his return to racing July 2 after a 4 1/2- year hiatus from the sport when he’ll be aboard Ide Ball – trained by former rider Mark Guidry – in the first race at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino.
The 42-year-old native of Erath, La., retired from racing on Dec. 15, 2004 after amassing 4,069 wins and riding earners of nearly $130 million. He is best known for his memorable rides on Skip Away and his Breeder’s Cup wins aboard Buck’s Boy and Countess Diana. He also rode in 14 consecutive runnings of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). His best finish was a third with Wild Gale in 1993. The two took third again that year in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Sellers was one of the first top jockeys to wear advertising on his britches and was an advocate for better pay, health insurance, and weight issues for riders. His intentions for coming out of retirement are signified by his return to the south Louisiana track.
“It’s no secret to why I’ve decided to come back and why I decided to come back to Evangeline,” Sellers said in a release. “I rode my first winner here in 1983, and it’s time for me to get back to my roots and what I love. I still believe in what I was fighting for back then, but over time I realized that my method or message was not always delivered in a respectable way.
“If I offended anyone, I apologize and want everyone to know that I am through with all of those causes,” he said. “With my renewed commitment to God and my family, I just want to continue to do what I know and love – that’s ride. I am so thankful for the open-armed response that I have received on my comeback and look forward to rekindling old friendships and relationships.”
Sellers will be represented by agent Anthony Martin, and plans on finishing the meet at Evangeline Downs before moving his tack to Louisiana Downs and the Fair Grounds.