Rene Douglas and Caltech

Courtesy Becky Johnston

I’m sure Rene Douglas has been in all of our thoughts a lot since Saturday.  He certainly has been in mine.  I went seeking memories and I decided to put some down for anyone else that might be wanting that connection right now.

Rene Douglas came to this country in 1983 after attending jockey school in Panama and 18 months or riding in his homeland.  He then set off to the south Florida tracks.  The tell-it-like-it-is jockey has gone through a rough few years, with both the loss of his brother in 2005 and his father in 2006.  The mysterious charges that got him temporarily ruled off tracks, an action that was later rescinded, had to be devastating.

In 2008 The Blood Horse asked Rene for comments on a Derby questionnaire and a couple of those seem even more poignant today.

I can’t live without: “My family, they’re number one. I’m most happy when I’m with them. I also like to travel, so I guess when I’m traveling with my family is when I’m really happy.”

If I could trade careers with any other athlete, I would be: “That’s a good question. I’m not sure. This is a tough sport, though. I’m not sure if I would do it again, but now I’m hooked and I love riding.”

One thing I wish people knew about jockeys: “A lot of people need to know the truth about jocks. They look at us in a different way than reality. They think we ride, make a lot of money, and go home. But it’s not like that. It’s a tough sport. What about the guys that don’t make money? Sure, on TV they make it look beautiful, but it’s not always that way.”

My First Memories of Rene

Rene Douglas first came to my attention when he rode a speedy but distance capable son of Explosive Bid named Caltech.  Caltech had been floundering in the allowance ranks after breaking his maiden at Pimlico in 1988.  Then the connections took him to Calder and put him on the turf and put a price tag on him, $25,000.  He won at nine furlongs in a speedy 1:46 4/5 seconds.  Three more mediocre fourth place performances found him back on the turf permanently in July of 1989.  Walter Guerra was able to get a win out of him in an Allowance, again running nine furlongs. 

Then Rene took over the reins in August and Caltech took the listed $75,000 Manalapan Handicap at Calder by better than three lengths at 17-1.  He ran the nine furlongs in 1:46 2/5. 

In Caltech’s first 13 races he had earned $33,140.  In his first stakes score, his take was $50,550.   

The connections took their new turf star to Belmont in September and his new jockey to boot.  They ran him in the Grade 3 Lawrence Realization going a mile and a half.  Caltech won by a neck traveling the mile and a half in an outstanding 2:26.  His odds were almost 13-1.

The next appointment for Caltech was a run in the prestigious $750,000 Grade 1 D.C. International.  Prior winners of the race included All Along, Sunshine Forever, Mac Diarmida, Dahlia, Fort Marcy and Sir Ivor.  The race was a prized jewel for Laurel from 1952-1994 and probably most closely resembled today’s Arlington Million or the Breeders’ Cup Turf as far as having an international presence.  In fact, it was the only real international race in this country when it began back in 1952.

The track came up soft, but Caltech had won on a good Calder course, which isn’t always the same as other east coast “off” tracks.  The three-year-old colt certainly had questions to answer.  First, could his speed be restrained against this kind of competition?  Could he handle the surface and could he go from a $25,000 claimer in June to a Grade 1 winner in October?  The best thing he had going for him was his jockey, Rene Douglas.  Watch the race unfold and see how Douglas rations out Caltech’s speed and held him together throughout the 10 furlongs. 

Budweiser D.C. International 1989 Caltech

Caltech won at 13-1.  With pocket change of almost $525,000 from his two-win road trip he would head to his south Florida home base.  It would be only 13 days until the Breeders’ Cup, but look how well Caltech does in the Breeders’ Cup, going a mile and a half with a newfound respect at 4-1.

Pre-Race Breeders’ Cup Turf 1989 – Part 1 Interview with Caltech’s connections

The Race

Caltech might have been a winner at 10 furlongs, though he was probably tapped from his International win, but Rene Douglas gave the colt every chance to win.  He also pocketed another $100,000 for the fifth place effort.

Caltech would never win again and Douglas only rode him one more time, yet for those amazing three months, Douglas and Caltech could do little wrong.

Caltech was bred by Dave Goldman of Capricorn Farm.  Goldman was a writer for several racing publications and a marketing executive for OBS.  He also worked in that capacity for Calder, Hialeah and Gulfstream Park.  He founded a thoroughbred advertising firm. 

Mr. Goldman died on April 23rd of this year.  In his obituary in the Ocala Star Banner it said  “……Dave's major claim to fame as a breeder was Caltech, winner of the 1989 Budweiser (Washington) D. C. International (Gr. I) and an earner of more than $700,000.”

Renee’s three-month exploits with this horse, who had done little before he met him and about the same after he parted company with him gave this very accomplished man what he must have felt was the ride of a lifetime. 

My thoughts and prayers are with Rene his wife Natalia and his sons Michael, Giancarlo, and Christian.

I searched out and put together a group of videos of some memorable races in Rene’s career.  Hopefully, in the next two weeks the news will get better for the Douglas family.  I know they won’t be far from my thoughts.

2009 Elkhorn--Spice Route with an interview Renee Douglas

4/30/2009 Kentucky Juvenile-- Aegean

2008 Manhattan--Dancing Forever, he is the son of Dancinginmydreams

This is the story of Dancinginmydream’s injury and the miracle of her recovery and her foal that Rene Douglas has a special relationship with.

[brightcove videoid="14463937001"]

1996 Belmont Stakes Editor’s Note Douglas’ Classic Win

2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Dreaming of Anna

2008 Pat O’Brien Handicap--Douglas came to town with Lewis Michael and left town with all the marbles.

2008 Rushaway Stakes on Big Glen a gutsy rail-riding trip. You aren’t supposed to win ducking down there, but Rene could.

Between 2001-2008 Rene Douglas took Arlington’s Stars and Stripes Handicap five times. Here he is with a crowd favorite, Silverfoot, winning the race in 2008.

2008 Secretariat Stakes—a European shipper that had done little before this race, Winchester.

2004 Old Hat Stakes-- Madcap Escapade blows the field away

2007 Frances Genter Stakes-Gutsy Rutherienne got a confident ride from Rene and fights for the win between horses.

2008 Arlington Matron—Indescribable won this race last year and finished third under sad circumstance this year, but in the 2008 version, Rene’s mount Leah’s Secret does her best to get a win for the Panamanian.

63 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Bill

Becky, thanks for the opportunity to blog our thoughts on Rene.  First of all, he and his family should be in everyone's prayers and thoughts. Secondly, he is one jockey who has always given the two dollar bettor his or her money's worth. God bless him and I pray he survives this terrible ordeal.

25 May 2009 2:22 PM
Kevin

I have and will continue to pray for Rene and his family.

I pray that he may be blessed with additional strength during this trial, and overcome with the guidance of God's providence over nature, supported by his family's love.

25 May 2009 2:54 PM
Meg

I've been thinking about Rene a lot, myself I would love to be a jockey after school and cant imagine what it must be like to have this happen. my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, God bless and good luck to him

25 May 2009 3:33 PM
GunBow

My prayers are with Rene and his family and friends. This has been a special 3 weeks of racing, but Rene's injuries certainly temper any joy.  These jockeys are brave athletes.  Too often we blame them for losses without giving them their due praise for having the courage and skill to get up on these horses in the first place.

There is a sad irony in Becky's story of Caltech and Rene.  Sadly, it appears that Rene has suffered a very similar fate on the racetrack as did Caltech.  I'm not sure if it was in early 1990 or 91, but during a workout one morning, Caltech took a fall against the rail, and laid trapped underneath the rail struggling for minutes on his back and side trying to rise again. The injuries suffered in the fall and from being pinned and struggling to rise were ultimately too severe, and he was put down.  The description of Born to Be falling atop of Rene and then struggling to rise sadly reminds me of when Caltech fell that one moring and then fought to get back on his feet.  Unlike Caltech, Born to Be did eventually stand, and thankfully, she did not have to be put down.

The one thing I am sure Rene's friends and families are thankful for is that Rene did escape with his life. While it is always horrific to see a horse lose it's life on the racetrack, the life of a jockey, a human being with family and friends, is even more precious. I  hold out hope Rene may some day walk again.

25 May 2009 6:05 PM
lobieb

It's called hope and my hope for Rene is that given the rest that he will be o.k.  Miracles do happen.  My sincere thoughts go out to Rene and his family.

25 May 2009 6:21 PM
TH7HORSES

I unfortunately was at the track that day as I live in Illinois. I've been going to Arlington for years and have seen Rene many times. He always signed autographs and had his game face on! My son who's 12 got his first autograph from Rene and to this day Rene is his favorite jockey. He loved what he did and when he went down I screamed out loud! This was truly one of the worst falls I've seen in years and I just knew in my heart the worst was yet to come. I pray the news of him being paralyzed is not 100% the case and he will walk again. God bless him and his whole family. We all love you Rene!!

25 May 2009 7:25 PM
Joey

I really hope Rene can get better quickly and eventually can come back to the races but that's a lot to ask.

25 May 2009 7:27 PM
sweet terchi

My deepest prayers go to Rene and his family. With the advance of medicine in today's world and the incredible will power that Rene has, it is possible that he may walk again. I wish to share a prayer for the family, and I hope no one on this blog is offended.

Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear, but look to them with full hope that God, whose you are, will deliver you out of it. hold fast to His dear hand, and either He will give you the strengh to bear it, or He will carry you safely through all things. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious imaginations. (A prayer from St. Francis) Hang in there Rene & Family, one day at a time, and remember that miracles do happen.

25 May 2009 7:32 PM
Amanda

I was at Arlington and saw Rene and Born to Be take their spill.  He was having such a great day at the track, winning race after race as he has done for so many years in the Chicago suburbs.  He is a tremendous athlete and the sport is lucky to have him.  He and his family are in my prayers as he works towards his recovery in the coming weeks and months.

25 May 2009 7:34 PM
Skyfire

Rene, you and your family are in our thoughts - Gun Bow is right, Rene has his life, thank goodness.  There is no athlete braver than a jockey!

Miracles do happen, as Iobieb said, and I am praying for one for Rene.

25 May 2009 7:47 PM
slewed'em

My prayers to him and his loved ones.

25 May 2009 8:12 PM
Paula Higgins

I can't say it better than Gunbow, so I will just say I agree with everything he said. I sincerely hope the M.D.s, physical therapists and R.N.s can get him back to the best possible condition.

25 May 2009 8:17 PM
Cris

Many of us are saying prayers for you today. When the swelling goes down and time for healing begins

good things can happen. I was not given much of a chance and it is wonderful what a little faith, determination, and time can do.

God's speed Rene hang in there.

25 May 2009 8:40 PM
sosad

It is very sad about Rene Douglas and I hope he fully recovers. I also wish people would care more about the poor horses that have these falls. The horse that Douglas was on was put to sleep last night - Could she have been saved? We will never know. The jockey's choose to ride, the horses don't. The tracks should be safer - more should be done to save the horses and people should

remember their sacrifices. Many more horse get hurt and die than jockies even get minor injures.

25 May 2009 9:08 PM
barb

My thoughts are also with Rene and his family and friends. If anyone can recover from this type of injury its gotta be a jockey. Also I read that they did have to put Born to Be down, so my condolences to the connections.

There was a bad spill there today...does anyone know if Inez K is OK?

25 May 2009 9:25 PM
slewed'em

Can someone clear this up for me. I have read that Born To Be was not euthanized and then I read that the horse was indeed euthanized. Which is true?

25 May 2009 9:55 PM
needler in Virginia

Whether they come here and make a blog entry or not, BELIEVE ME, all racing fans have Mr Douglas in their hearts during these dark days. Everyone hopes for the best, and wishes the Douglas family well. Instead of making that next $2 bet, let's find out how to send it to Rene for whatever he might need. What could it hurt? And we KNOW it would help........... does anyone know if something like this is being done??

25 May 2009 10:24 PM
Blood-Horse Staff

barb - According to the Arlington Park website, both jockeys involved in the spill today - Uriel Lopez and Inez Karlsson - appear to be ok.

25 May 2009 11:28 PM
Tearock

Sosad,

Just a comment regarding horses..I can assure you that every thing possible was done to save the filly. You can believe that. I have been in horse racing for 30 years and no one puts a horse down without trying everything humanely possible.

I have seen many terrible spills and even some not so terrible but still catastrophic injuries to both horse and rider.

Lets all hope Rene will be able to walk again.

25 May 2009 11:51 PM
MtBFan

Last summer was my first trip to a major track--Arlington. It was an amazing experience. I hope Rene does as well as he can. I am well aware of the gritty side of the sport. I also saw Karlsson race last year, winning three of the five races she rode on the card...I was enchanted! Anyway, good thoughts to Rene and BtB.

26 May 2009 12:55 AM
Bellwether

all of us n this camp hope Rene can get up & walk again...STAY STRONG...

26 May 2009 3:09 AM
da3hoss

My prayers, too, are with Rene and his family. I pray he walks and rides again. I also pray for Jamie Theriot, too.

needler in Virginia, I agree, let's all find out how we can help!

26 May 2009 6:48 AM
Soldier Course

Becky: Thank you so much for your thoughtful article and the series of videos. For those of us who do not know very much about Rene Douglas's riding career, your effort is most informative and comforting. I hope all B-H readers see it. Right now it should be featured at the top of the home page.

GunBow: Thank you for letting us know what happened to Caltech. The similarities between these accidents is disturbing.

sweet terchi: Thank you for sharing the lovely prayer of St. Francis, which is so appropriate now for Rene, his family, and for all of us who are waiting and hoping for the best for them.

26 May 2009 7:58 AM
MintHillFarm

I remember when he first began riding in the U.S., as a young man, he was a great rider from the start...I am praying for him and and family. So sad for all connections and in addition I feel very badly about the loss of Born To Be.

26 May 2009 8:54 AM
Rechelle

GunBow, I'm sorry but Born To Be was euthanized the next day.  I'm not sure what her injuries were, but considering she was unconscious after the fall, most likely it was head trauma related.  

My thoughts & prayers go out to Rene & his family.  I read that the jockey on Sky Mom was suspended for 30 days, and truly, I don't think that's enough after watching the race.  His actions on his mount caused a horse her life and a jockey his livelihood, not to mention his ability to walk.  30 days seems too mild for the tragedies that have happened.  

I will continue to pray that he will regain feeling and use in his legs as the swelling and pressure go down.  

26 May 2009 11:37 AM
Rechelle

Sosad, in the case of Born To Be, this accident had nothing to do with the track safety or the horse.  This had to do with another horse (Sky Mom) interfering with her running by swerving into her, causing Born To Be to swing out and clip heels with another horse, therefore going down.  This horrible accident can not be blamed on anything other than Sky Mom & her jockey.  Please consider your comments before posting, when so many tracks may be at fault for some of the accidents and make sure you know what the circumstances to the horse going down were before you post.  It irritates me to have people blame the track when in so many cases, there is either absolutely no explanation (Eight Belles, Geoge Washington or Barbaro just for a few examples) or when another horse interfers (Born To Be).

26 May 2009 11:42 AM
MATT H.

get well rene your are a great jockey and my favorite memory is when your are on dreaming of anna i believe it was in that turf race adn you just doninated i also had the privlege of betting on her thatswhy it sticks out so much in my mind

26 May 2009 11:50 AM
Greathorseracer

Rene, I am praying everyday, and have asked everyone I know to pray as well. You are in my thoughts every moment... I could not begin to understand how you must feel or how your family feels... I know you will be ok... I expect a miracle for you. God can do that... You must be strong and fight hard, just like you do when you ride just like the champion I know you are! God bless you and your family...

26 May 2009 12:43 PM
barb

B-H staff...Thanks.

I would also like to extend my best wishes to Jaime Theriot. I know he must be suffering as well.

26 May 2009 12:46 PM
Felix

Only the very best of my thoughts and prayers go out to Renee at this time. Although, the light is dim, with the power of prayer all is possible........ The Lord Jesus Christ will look after you..

26 May 2009 2:29 PM
MRO

RIP Born to Be - a promising A.P. Indy girl lost - & best wishes for both of the jockeys involved.

26 May 2009 3:37 PM
shamfan49

30 Days! 30 Days??

A promising filly died. 30 Days?

A young athlete at the top of his game may never walk again, much less continue the job he holds so dear. He may never be able to rough house with his children or play any physical games with them. No catch. No tossing the ol' football. No h-o-r-s-e in the driveway. Will he ever be able to dance with his wife again? 30 days indeed.

There is no excuse for careless riding. The stakes are much too high.

Require Theriot to take safety classes at Chris McCarron's Jockey School before letting him back on the track.

26 May 2009 5:37 PM
Freetex

Sick about the horrific outcome for Rene and Born to Be.

Also, I read there is a jockey suspension connected to the incident.  

All of it, hard to take.

26 May 2009 6:46 PM
GunBow

I am saddened to hear that Born to Be was euthanized. Her injuries remind me of Exogenous. Exogenous fell after flipping over coming onto the Belmont track from the paddock for the 2001 BC Distaff. Exogneous hit her head hard on the pavement, and then became entangled in some metal gate/railing. She was down, struggling, for about 5 minutes,as her trainer Jimmy Jerkens looked on in absolute horror. I thought they were going to euthanize her right there, on the spot, once they started putting up the tarp. However, she did eventually rise, and updates race announcer Tom Durkin provided throughout the day suggested she was going to make a full recovery. Unfortunately, she had suffered severe fractures in to her skull, and was put down the next day.

26 May 2009 6:57 PM
Grey K

Several horse were lost this weekend, not only Born to Be.  I know this is a fact of racing but it never gets any easier.  And Rene Douglas permanently injured and another jockey who must feel devastated too, for causing this horrific spill.  I saw it on television, it was ghastly.  And I will keep the Douglas family in my thoughts and prayers, as well as the connections of Born to Be and the other horses who lost their lives over the holiday weekend.  

26 May 2009 7:03 PM
sweet terchi

I agree with Rechelle that the suspension for Theriot is a light one in the magnitude of the devasting aftermath of reckless riding. The fault lies 100% with him. If jockeys pay a hefty price for drug addiction (Patrick Valenzuela) then reckless riding should carry a stiffer penalty, especially in a case such as this where a fellow jockey's life is changed forever, and as MRO said, a promising filly lost forever.

26 May 2009 7:15 PM
Dave A

Thanks to Blood Horse and Becky Johnson for the montage of great races ridden by Rene in the past. I usually am in attendance at Arlington most weekends, but missed Saturday for a family function; breakdowns and spills are the one thing I really hate to see. I believe Arlington Park has made every effort to make their track as safe as possible, especially by replacing dirt with the all weather surface. but a horse broke down again yesterday, causing Inez Karlson and Uriel Lopez to be injured, though not as seriously as Rene. My prayers are with all of the jockeys and others involved in making it possible for we fans to enjoy this exciting sport.

26 May 2009 10:06 PM
aeolian1

The more we all pray and send healing through prayer...the universe will sway all in a positive direction for this family and everyone involved in this industry to recover. This is a shocking reality of horseracing...just happened to me with a far different prognosis. I am appreciative that at least I am still alive and moving. May we all realize, that when accidents occur...may they be at a time when we are doing something that puts a smile on our faces and love in our hearts... yet also includes all those around us as well. In prayer...

NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO

www.nst.org

26 May 2009 10:13 PM
sweet terchi

A horse going down is a horrific sight to see, since their instinct has them struggling to arise and continue running. I am not sure the track surface in some cases is to blame, but I bet medication has some bearing also. I read that lasix might leach calcium from the bone. Anyhow like I said with all the medical progress made over the years Rene has a excellent chance, and horse wise Dancinginmydreams shows progress made on the equine front

27 May 2009 3:04 PM
Becky Johnston

Gunbow, I think Exogenous actually lived several days and was doing so well that Schulhofer even talked about her racing again, unfortunately her condition deteriorated and she didn't make it.  

27 May 2009 3:07 PM
sweet terchi

Well I see Theriot lost no time in appealing the suspension. Wonder what best intrests he's referring to? Please!!

27 May 2009 4:48 PM
Robin

Thanks for the videos of Rene.  He and his family are in our prayers.  This incident brings to mind the injury and subsequent paralysis of Ronny Turcotte many years ago.  There's no safety net aboard a horse going 40mph.  Everyone in the business needs to be acutely aware of what's at stake.  No win is worth killing or severely injuring human or equine.  JT is also in our prayers as he may find forgiveness more difficult to obtain.  

27 May 2009 9:34 PM
John T.

Rene Douglas was a great jockey no question about it but every jockey no matter how good he is in on a horse should be regonised when something like this happens.Every jockey who throws his leg over a horse knows this can happen at anytime so lets salute them all great or small.

28 May 2009 12:04 AM
Lmaris

I say Theriot should be allowed to ride, but only on the following condition:  $0.75 of every $1 he earns be divided 50 cents to Rene Douglas, and 25 cents to the owners of Born to Be until her value is recouped.  After that, all 75 cents goes to Rene Douglas.

Theriott's tearful apology was nothing but crocodile tears, as his immediate appeal proves.  

28 May 2009 1:10 AM
Stephanie

Dear Rene:  I am praying each day for you and your family.  You have had a tough last few years and now this.  It just doesn't seem fair.  But you are a fighter, Rene.  And I know you can overcome this trial in your life.  Don't give up.  You have a legion of loyal fans pulling for you.

28 May 2009 2:11 PM
helsbelles

I was willing to give Theriot the benefit of the doubt, but his statement in the DRF on the ESPN website (that has since been altered!) that yes indeed he brushed Rene's horse, but in the past he has received lighter suspensions for doing similar things, really turned my stomach.  Does he even know how bad that sounds?  His agent must have gotten to the author and had him change the quote.  I pray for Rene, and his family, and I am very very sad for Born to Be; no horse should suffer such a violent end.

28 May 2009 3:09 PM
sweet terchi

Like Lmaris said,crocodile tears.

28 May 2009 4:48 PM
Sally F

I can only send words of encouragement and hope to Rene Douglas and know that he will recover and find a path in life that will be fulfilling.  I, too, was injured very very seriously in an airplane crash and but for miracles did not lose my leg (critical injury) nor become paralyzed (two broken vertebrae) in my back.  I survived and went on with life and I have a feeling that Rene will do the same.

I love and feel deeply for the loss of Born to Be.  I love horses and racing and wish these things would never happen.  I remain a fan and have the utmost respect for both horse and jockey.  May the Great Spirit always ride with them all!!!!!

28 May 2009 8:23 PM
Rechelle

I am astounded to hear that Jamie Theriot is even entertaining the thought of appealing his sentence!  Does he not understand he is LUCKY that it was as mild as it was???  His actions directly caused a promising filly her life and an extrodinarily talented jockey his livelihood!  

For Rene, I've had back surgery and I know the pain that he must be feeling.  I will continue to pray that he pulls through and will regain some use of his legs.  My heart goes out to his family & friends during this very difficult time.  For the connections of the beautiful filly Born To Be, my condolences on your loss.  As a horse owner, I know the inexplicable love that people can have for their horse and the horrible pain that comes with their suffering and their deaths.

28 May 2009 9:14 PM
Jim P

What a tragedy. I'm so sad for Rene and Born To Be.

My friend and her daughter just returned from India. The daughter had been a quad for 18 years. While she'll need more stem cell work for her spinal cord she came back able to walk and with normal blood pressure for the first time since her trafic fall from an ocean cliff.

By the way, they are Christian and lead a life of service.

29 May 2009 1:39 AM
Ragsy

My thoughts and prayers are for Rene Douglas and his family.

29 May 2009 12:24 PM
silverblue

My wishes would be for Rene to concentrate on getting better.To find a way to forsee a future ahead of him with his friends and family who love him.

29 May 2009 3:05 PM
RHSxTWO

My thoughts and prayers go out to Rene and Inez. I've had two family members who were involved in life altering medical incidents since December. It's almost impossible to comprehend, but we must try and stay positive.

29 May 2009 7:01 PM
chris block

rene is a true champion in our sport, putting it all on the line for us time and time again. even though the son of a bitch cost me every time i run against him. just kidding buddy. i pray for ya daily, and i know you will be back, because if anyone can it's surely you

31 May 2009 3:36 AM
Ellie

Thank you for a fabulous collection of races.  My prayers go out to Rene and his family.  I pray he can regain the use of his legs but mostly I am thankful he did not suffer any brain damage in such a horrific spill.

31 May 2009 11:07 AM
Butch Coyoca

Keep it going Rene. You're a mortal lock to recovery.   Much the best to you and the family.    Thanks Becky for posting this.

31 May 2009 1:36 PM
Jorge L. Suarez

Rene rode two horse I bred and won

with both of them, when he got on top of my horses I knew he was the best rider because he his integrity

and desire to win, but when tod me:

Jorge you breed beautiful horses that made proud because when we breed horse are babies. Snow Landing and Redhiya were the two winners but Rene is beside being a

top rider he is great human being.

I know Rene will recover and enjoy

life with his family. I pray every

day for his recovery.

31 May 2009 4:48 PM
helsbelles

This weekend I heard an encouraging report of improvement in Rene Douglas' condition, as well as a disturbing rumour of animosity prior to the incident.  Hopefully the truth will prevail in the hearings, but that is unlikely given horse racing's code of secrecy.

01 Jun 2009 2:08 PM
sweet terchi

Jorge L. Suarez, thank you for your heartfelt post. Rene needs all of our prayers.

helsbelles, really? If true, what a cowardly act to try and settle a score. I truly hope that at the hearings, a harsher sentence is meted out. A 30 day suspension for such a tragedy is insulting.

01 Jun 2009 10:45 PM
ERIK YOUR BROTHER

rene stay strong ok if anybody will pull through this it will be you. I love you with all my heart your little bro erik.

02 Jun 2009 12:53 PM
Kenneth Skinner

Rene is and always will be our friend.Many of us have failed in getting proper leadership involved securing saftey and insurance.We jockeys do not go racing for spite.We try our hardest to win the 10% of 60% of the purse money that is divided 25-30% to an agent,5% to a valet plus state and federal tax.On top of that we pay the jockeys guild aproximately $10.00 every ride we race.Anyone following? Good Luck Rene!  

03 Jun 2009 11:05 AM
Doreen

As a family spokesperson for the Douglas family I have read all of these posts and the family thanks everyone for there support. Yes I do believe Jamie's suspension was the lightest one given for what he caused to both horse and rider. He had his appeal denied because he had 11 infractions in the past. But to have the nerve to even try and appeal those days was absurd. If he was any kind of man he should have forgone his flight  back to KY that night and went to the hospital to see Rene.But he jumped on his flight home and made some comments that he felt he didn't deserve days, His wife has done most of the talking and he has hardly said anything. Now they claim there not welcomed at the hospital but now is to late you needed to be there that night not one-two weeks later. Jamie and his wife are still going out and attending concerts and living. Rene has been laying on his back since May 23 not knowing if he will ever walk again. Remember words travel fast so what you do over in KY gets back to IL pretty quickly. And the stories are not growing or being made bigger than they are this info is from reliable sources. So I hope one day Jamie realizes what he did to Rene effected the whole Douglas Family and his friends. In his heart I hope he makes peace with God for this unforgiveable act.

14 Jun 2009 10:21 PM
Jack from Michigan

Rene,

My spirit was with you prior to your accident and will stay with you until

and after your recovery.  Your desire

to win will carry you through this

tragedy and make you a stronger winner than you ever deemed.  God

Bless you & your Family.  I constantly pray for you Rene.

29 Jun 2009 1:17 PM

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