Colonial Downs plans to have a moment of silence prior to Sunday's first race. Sanchez earned the only U.S. win of his career at Colonial Downs aboard Mark Me Special on June 19.
Emanuel Sanchez, a 22-year-old apprentice rider at Colonial Downs, died on Saturday morning at Bon Secour Community Hospital in Richmond. Sanchez was found after the fourth race Friday – in which he rode Bear On Tour to a fourth-place finish – lying on the shower floor in the jockey's room. He had gone to take a shower after the race. Sanchez had learned that he had picked up a mount in the last race. According to a Colonial Downs press release, Sanchez was then transported to a hospital. His condition deteriorated en route, and he lapsed into a coma. Colonial Downs' officials learned of his death on Saturday morning. Sanchez was from Puerto Rico."All of the jockeys and valets and other racing personnel are deeply saddened by this turn of events and the loss of Emanuel," said Colonial Downs general manager John Mooney in the release. "All of our regrets and prayers go out to his family." Racing official did not wish to further speculate on the cause of death pending results of an autopsy. Sanchez reportedly displayed signs of heat exhaustion.