On Thursday, March 22, 2018, Parx Racing Hall of Fame rider and the track’s all-time leading money-earner Jose Luis Flores tragically succumbed to injuries suffered from a fall with Love Rules during the ninth race on Monday, March 19, 2018. He is survived by his loving wife, Joanne McDaid-Flores, their seven-year-old son Julien, and two adult sons – Junior and Juan.
The outpouring of support for Jose and his family has been tremendous, and many, many horsemen and fans have expressed an interest in donating to support the Flores family during this difficult time as well as into the future. So, the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (PTHA) has set up The PTHA'S Flores Family Fund in order to gather the many generous donations that are pouring in for Joanne and Julien, for the benefit of his maintenance, healthcare and education.
Donations can be sent directly to the PTHA office made out to The PTHA'S Flores Family Fund, through GoFundMe, and via a fundraiser which will be held in coordination with the Horsemen's Awards Banquest on March 28, 2018. Everything collected will be given to Joanne Flores at the end of the drive.
Jose Flores is considered family on our backside. We were shocked after the horrific fall and together we mourn the loss of a great man, a loving father, devoted husband, valiant jockey and mentor to so many.
PARX will be hosting a visitation on the 3rd floor of the grandstand after the races on Tuesday, March 27th. Please stay tuned for details as so many people have been touched by this man's life and wish to honor him and his family at this time.
Jose Flores Winning
Jose Flores and Mystical Terp
Memories of Jose Luis Flores
“He was a true gentleman rider. He would 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 rode for just about every trainer on the grounds. Jose was a good-natured, good-hearted guy. He had money but he loved to ride. He’d say, ‘Why should I stop? I love the morning training, I love the afternoons, I love the camaraderie.’ There must have been 55 people at the hospital Monday night.”
-David Yanuzzi, longtime agent for Jose Flores
“The entire Parx Racing team is deeply saddened by the loss of Parx Hall of Fame Jockey, Jose Flores, who died from injuries suffered in a racing accident on Monday afternoon. Jose was an outstanding jockey who was greatly admired for both his superb talent and his wonderful personality. He embodied all that is good in the world of horse racing, and will be missed immensely. We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to his family, friends and the entire racing community.”
“To know the kind of guy he is, every jockey was at the hospital last night comforting his wife (Joanne). He’s been a mentor to other riders and a professional gentleman at all times. He’s the epitome of what a jockey should be.”
-Sam Elliott, Director of Racing at Parx
“It’s unbelievable… He was just tremendous, a nice guy, always a professional.”
-Scott Lake, trainer at Parx Racing
“He was one of those riders everybody loved. He’s going to be missed because there’s not anybody like him around.”
-Ned Allard, trainer at Parx Racing
“I considered him more than a rider, but as a friend. I realize it was him that made everyone feel like a friend.”
-Tim Smylie, trainer at Parx Racing
“As for Jose, what can you say about pure class? He was it. Very quiet, polite and loved to ride. It was his passion and in his blood. He died doing what he loved to do.”
-Bob Hutt, owner at Parx Racing
“Jose was the ultimate professional and even better person. He treated everyone with respect and kindness whether it be the top trainer or a hotwalker.”
-Victor Collazo, trainer at Parx Racing
“He was and always will be in everyone’s hearts who knew him. Jose was a mentor to me and taught me so much. He was always such a humble person and a great rider to say the least. I am forever grateful to have said I got to ride side by side with him and am even more grateful to call him my friend and brother.”
-Silvestre Gonzalez, jockey at Parx Racing
“Jose will always have a place in my heart. R.I.P. my angel and fly. I thank him for always being a father figure to me. I can’t believe he is gone. These are words that I will never forget papa Flores. Take one step at a time because your other steps may be harder to climb. He will always be a hero and a legend and a role model to others. We love him and will miss him.”
-Rolando Vazquez, exercise rider and former jockey at Parx Racing
Jose Luis Flores on a Scott Lake morning trainee.