Jockey Jose Luis Flores, the all-time earnings leader at Parx Racing, is on life support after injuries suffered there in a March 19 spill.
Retired jockey Victor Molina, like Flores a member of the Parx Racing Hall of Fame, confirmed March 20 that Flores is on life support at Aria Jefferson Torresdale Hospital.
"They're waiting for the family to come to say good-bye, basically," said Molina, who is a co-founder of the Philadelphia Park Jockey Association and is assisting the family in navigating insurance concerns. Flores is married and has three sons.
In the accident in the ninth race Monday at Parx, Flores was aboard Love Rules. The pair led through the first quarter-mile, then found themselves between horses in the turn of the six-furlong starter allowance race when Love Rules broke down and both horse and rider hit the ground. The Pooch, who had been racing fifth early, fell over Love Rules in the turn.
Love Rules, who won his previous start in February at Parx, was euthanized.
Flores is a winner of 4,650 North American races and his mounts have earned more than $64 million. That North American career win total ranks 42nd overall. This year at Parx, Flores is tied for eighth in the rider standings with 11 wins from 104 starts.
After four years of riding in Panama, Flores arrived in South Florida in 1987. Based in the Mid-Atlantic region, he has won 49 black-type stakes, including the 2017 Swatara Stakes aboard Discreet Lover at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.
In a Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association biography, Flores recalled forcing himself to learn English in a move from Gulfstream Park to Canterbury Downs.
"It was hard for me to make it at Gulfstream," he said. "I did not speak English, so I moved to Canterbury Downs and learned English out of necessity. I lived with a police officer who knew no Spanish."
Flores earned his first riding title in 1992 at Penn National, riding many winners for Scott Lake. He is the all-time leading money earner at Parx (formerly Philadelphia Park) and has had just two agents: Jack Servis until he passed away in 2003, then Dave Yanuzzi.
"He is a true gentleman rider," Yanuzzi said in the PTHA bio. "He will ride a 60-1 shot as hard as he'd ride a favorite, and work for a two-horse outfit just as soon as a 20-horse barn. He's ridden for just about every trainer on the grounds."
Flores guided Loaded Gun to victory in the 1999 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (G3). Multiple stakes winners for Flores include Loaded Gun, Eighth Wonder, Il Villano, Glorious Smile, Duilce Realidad, Raging Rapids, and Watchman's Warning.
Out of respect for Parx Hall of Famer Flores, Parx Racing cancelled its scheduled March 20 card. On its Twitter feed the track said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Hall of Fame jockey Jose Flores and his family."