CYPRESS, Calif.—The horse racing community Oct. 21 is mourning a 53-year-old exercise rider who was killed in a training incident at Los Alamitos Race Course.
Alfredo Luevano was riding the 2-year-old filly Fly From The Fire on the backstretch Oct. 20 during morning training hours when the incident occurred, according to track publicity director Orlando Gutierrez.
Mr. Luevano was on the ground when assistance arrived, then taken to Long Beach Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Mr. Gutierrez said.
There have been no eyewitness accounts with any precise details on the incident, according to Mr. Gutierrez.
Mike Marten, spokesman for the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), told City News Service on Saturday that investigators were looking into the matter and seeking potential witnesses.
Fly From The Fire ran off under her own power and was not injured. The quarter horse was entered in Saturday’s seventh race at the Cypress track but scratched as a precaution, Mr. Gutierrez said.
Mr. Luevano was born in Luis Moya in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. He had 33 mounts as a jockey, mostly in Mexico and Colorado. Mr. Luevano was issued an exercise rider license by the CHRB this year.
Mr. Luevano is survived by his wife, Marisela Martinez, their children, Lisbet, Alfredo Jr., Alex, Aldo, and Camila, six grandchildren and his father, Augustine.
A moment of silence will be held in Mr. Luevano’s memory before Sunday’s race card at Los Alamitos.
“On behalf of the Los Alamitos Race Course family, we express our deepest condolences to Mr. Luevano’s family members and friends,” Mr. Gutierrez said.
Fly From The Fire has run in five races in her career, all at Los Alamitos. A second-place finish in a handicap race July 30 was the only time she finished in the money.
It’s not uncommon for horses to die from training or racing injuries—12 horses have died from such injuries at Los Alamitos this year, according to CHRB data—but fatal injuries to jockeys or riders are far more rare.