08/28/2008 12:00AM

Jockey dies from spill injuries


Jockey Juan Campos died Saturday in a New Mexico hospital of injuries sustained in a one-horse spill at the Downs at Albuquerque on Aug. 16. He was 39.

Campos sustained head and chest injuries when Kant Talk, his mount in a 2-year-old maiden race for Quarter Horses, stumbled in the stretch and fell on him, said Rick Thedford, who was Campos's valet. The rider had been hospitalized since the spill. Campos, who had long galloped horses, decided to launch a race riding career just this year, said Thedford.

Campos won his first race on May 30 at SunRay Park in Farmington, N. M. He was 2 for 36 overall, with three second-place finishes and mount earnings of $36,185. Campos leaves behind a wife, Perla, and two children.

Thedford is organizing a benefit dinner for the family to be held Tuesday night in the Jockey Club at the Downs at Albuquerque.