US RACING: Veteran Quarter Horse jockey dies after spill

Jockey Richard Gamez

Richard Gamez, a longtime Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse jockey in the southwest, died early Monday as the result of injuries sustained in a Sunday spill during the fifth race at Rillito Park in Arizona. He was 67.

Gamez was on the lead with favorite Drama is Overrated in a 5 ½-furlong race for Thoroughbred maidens when the 5-year-old gelding reportedly “stumbled’ on the far turn, sending Gamez to the ground. According to track operator Rillito Park Foundation, Gamez was transferred to Banner University Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Gamez, who began his riding career in 1976, rode 640 winners from 4,640 Thoroughbred races with purse earnings of more than $1.2 million. In addition, the AQHA reports Gamez rode nearly 200 Quarter Horse winners in his career with earnings of $617,000.

Gamez’s best season came in 2000 when he tallied $168,334 in purse earnings. According to Equibase statistics, Gamez stopped riding after 2002 and then returned in 2018 with six winners from 41 mounts.

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