06/17/2010 11:00PM

Injuries may force Doocy into retirement


Jockey Tim Doocy said Friday that the injuries he sustained in a morning training accident last winter at Oaklawn will probably force his retirement, but he wants to see how he continues to progress in his physical therapy before making a final call on his career. Doocy, 54, has made great strides in his rehabilitation since fracturing his left kneecap, ankle, and tibia on Dec. 7.

"I'm not sure if I'll be able to get to ride again or not," he said. "I'm coming along good. But I don't think I'll ever get the full bend in my knees back. I haven't really decided [on retirement]. The only thing I'm worrying about is trying to get this leg as good as it can be for the rest of my life and then go from there."

Doocy, a winner of more than 5,000 races, was injured when a horse he was pulling up from a workout was hit by an oncoming outrider and pony team who were chasing a loose horse. The outrider escaped serious injury while both of the horses died on impact.

In the week that followed, Doocy had surgeries on his ankle and kneecap and had a rod placed in his tibia. He said he was on crutches until about a month ago and has been going to therapy three days a week in Hot Springs, Ark. He said the sessions last about two hours each.

"From there, I go to the 'Y' and work out and then hit the pool," Doocy said. "I've got to get everything as close to normal as I can. It's come a long way, but I've got a long way to go."

In April 2009 at Oaklawn, Doocy became the 24th rider in North America to reach 5,000 wins. His mounts have earned more than $66 million. His best mounts include Restless Con, with whom he won the Haskell; Chindi, a millionaire sprinter; and Dust On the Bottle, winner of the Hawthorne Gold Cup.

Doocy rode his first winner at the now-shuttered Commodore Downs in Erie, Pa., in 1974. He would go on to win titles at Longacres, Oaklawn, Prairie Meadows, Remington Park, and different tracks in Nebraska.

"I've had a good career," he said. "I've met a lot of good people. I've been doing this for 35 years. It's something I love to do."

Valenzuela suspended 15 days

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela was suspended 15 days by the New Mexico Racing Commission on Wednesday for an April 24 incident at SunRay Park in which a number of jockeys refused to ride in a dispute over mount fees. The track was forced to cancel the card. Valenzuela did not return a call seeking comment.

Valenzuela, who is currently riding at Louisiana Downs, was also fined $1,500. In all, 18 riders were suspended by the commission, with some of their cases having been heard in May. Most jockeys have received a one-day suspension and a fine of $400, but Valenzuela and Jimmy Coates Jr. received steeper penalties because their roles in the incident were prominent, according to officials with the commission.

In other business, the commission has granted Sunland Park a 77-date mixed meet that will run from Dec. 10, 2010, to April 19, 2011.

Dates requests from the remainder of the state's tracks will be considered at an upcoming meeting. Zia Park has asked for a 53-date mixed meet for 2011, from Sept. 10 to Dec. 6; Ruidoso Downs has asked for a 60-date mixed meet for next year, from May 27 to Sept. 5; SunRay Park is seeking a 44-date mixed meet in 2011, from April 22-July 5; and the Downs at Albuquerque has asked for a 2011 mixed meet that would extend from Aug. 12 to Oct. 16.

La Mesa Park in Raton has applied for a 60-date mixed meet that would open in late May and continue into September. However, the track has not run the dates they received for 2010, which was expected to be their inaugural season, and as a result could face penalties from the commission in a case that has been continued to July 21.

Horsemen to meet with track leaders

Horsemen on July 1 will have a chance to ask members of the management teams of Lone Star Park, Retama Park, and Sam Houston questions about their proposal to consolidate Thoroughbred race dates for 2011. The general meeting will begin at 11 a.m. Central in the sales pavilion at Lone Star.

* Winning Tale, a promising 3-year-old filly by Tale of the Cat, will test her skills against a competitive group of older fillies and mares in a $17,500 optional claiming allowance Sunday at Louisiana Downs. The race will be run at about five furlongs on turf. Others in the field include Time Well Spent and Blue Angel.