Shane Sellers, who has not ridden steadily since January of 2001, is returning to the saddle Wednesday at Keeneland. Sellers is scheduled to ride unraced Global Attraction for trainer Nick Zito in the second race. He is not named on any horses at Keeneland on Thursday.
Sellers was injured in a gate mishap and subsequently had surgery in December of 2000. He ended 2000 in third place among all jockeys by money won with $14,881,680 with 192 winners from 1,109 starters, a 17% win rate. While still recovering the following spring, Sellers signed a record deal with a division of DreamWorks and started making regular appearances as a country singer.
At one point last March Sellers said, "After 20 years I'm not really missing it. I'm realizing there's a life outside of horse racing...I can ride again, but can I ride as Shane Sellers? If I had to come back and ride in pain, I won't ride again," he said.
Sellers briefly returned to riding in August of last year at but after 39 mounts and four wins, including one aboard Double Zero Seven in the Spectacular Bid Stakes, he said he was quitting again because the pain was just too much to take. At the time Sellers said he planned to return to his home in Louisville to consult with doctors.
Fred Aime will be handling Sellers' book. Aime handled Pat Day when that rider rose to prominence on the Kentucky circuit. He has also represented, among others, Hall of Famer Eddie Delahoussaye. Aime, too, is coming out of retirement as an agent to take Sellers' book. "It took me 28 years to get tired of being an agent, but only seven to tire of farming," Aime said.
"Last year when Shane tried to come back, the knee wasn't right and he was in too much pain. He's been getting on a lot of horses the past 12 days for a lot of horsemen, and the pain has been minimal," Aime added. "Now they have to see Shane do it in the afternoons as well as the mornings. We have to work our way back in, go out and prove ourselves and do the best we can with what opportunities we get."