Enjoy your weekend along with today’s Hoss Talk column
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Young jockey Jose Asencio recovering from his racing accident enjoy a visit from fellow jockey Enrique Gonzalez and friend Ernesto Rojos at Vancouver General Hospital. – Photo submitted
Last Sunday 20-year-old apprentice jockey Jose Asencio was in sixth place among all riders at Hastings Racecourse.
Along with his agent Ryan Deyotte, the combination appeared to be on their way towards having a career-breaking year.
Instead of riding a few horses a week, Asencio had become a jockey many trainers were now interested in having on their horses.
But as fate or lady luck would have it, that all came crashing down when the horse Asencio was riding Sunday clipped heels of another horse, sending him to the ground with multiple injuries.
Now instead of looking ahead to his next winner, the youngster lies in a bed at Vancouver General Hospital suffering from injuries from that accident.
“While visiting him Tuesday,” said trainer Claire Hills-Silva, a close friend, “doctors said Jose suffered a fractured vertebra in his back that had already been operated on. Jose also sustained a broken leg and a pin was placed in it. As part of his physiotherapy, he was standing up briefly as doctors looked on. You could see a smile begin to light up his face. This was a great sign.”
A long range prognosis has not yet been made available. “I’m still pretty sore,” Asencio said from VGH. “What is nice I’ve had lots of people visiting me, which is great and that makes me happy.”
With his father Gabriel, a veteran jockey at Hastings and constant visitor, at his side, Jose admits to missing his mother and hopes she can make it to Vancouver from Mexico shortly.
A gofundme page has been set up at ‘https://www.gofundme.com/help-for-jose-mariano-asencio/donate’ to help his mother pay him a visit and help with the rehabilitation costs which will be extensive.
MORE THAN JUST DIRT: Recently a major undertaking has been underway to improve the racing surface at Hastings Racecourse. With the cooperation of management and horsemen, leading North American racetrack consultant Steve Woods has been overseeing major upgrades to the track.
“My job is overseeing racing surfaces,” said Woods by phone from California. “I make sure the racetrack is level and graded properly. I’ve spent time with track superintendent Drew Levere making sure the racing surface is safe for the horses.”
As for what makes up a racetrack surface, trainer Mel Snow, a member of the racetrack committee, says: “It’s a mixture of sand with a little clay along with Sports Grid a stabilizer. They’ve also done some intense grader work the last week to take out the humps to get the proper banking to make sure everything lines up properly.”
The committee also purchased new tractor tires to help with getting better weight distribution when working the racing surface.
Veteran race horse Herbie D is comfortable with his retirement after meeting with Pedro the donkey at White House Farms on Vancouver Island – Photo submitted
TIME FOR SOME REST: George Robbins and Darcia Doman’s veteran race horse Herbie D has been permanently retired at White House Stables (Vancouver Island) the same farm where he was born. “In his last race,” said trainer Rob Gilker, “he injured his front foot and we decided it was time to retire the old guy. When we brought him there last weekend, right away he made friends with Pedro the donkey, so he’s a happy horse.”
NOTES ON A PROGRAM: Live racing resumes Saturday and Sunday at Hastings Racecourse with the regular 1:50 p.m. start times. Saturday’s card will include coverage of the running of the Belmont Stakes on the jumbo screen at Hastings. It will be begin shortly after 3:30 p.m. our time.