06/05/2013 3:35PM

Remington Park: Quinonez hopes to return to races at summer meet


Jockey Luis Quinonez hopes to begin physical therapy later this month as he continues to heal from two fractured vertebrae sustained in an April 23 training accident at Churchill Downs. Quinonez has been recovering at his home in Jones, Okla., and he anticipates a return to riding during the Remington Park meet that begins Aug. 16.

“I want to be ready for opening day at Remington,” said Quinonez, a 46-year-old who has won more than 3,280 races and compiled more than $55 million in mount earnings.

Quinonez was injured when a horse he was working broke down. The rider said he fractured his C6 and C7 vertebrae, which are located near the shoulder blades. Quinonez returned home a week after the accident and has been wearing a brace.

“They didn’t have to do surgery, so that was a good thing,” he said. “I’ve just been taking it easy. The fractures, they had to heal.”

Quinonez is scheduled to see his doctors on June 24, and at that point, he hopes to be cleared to begin physical therapy. He said he has not really been in pain since the spill, but he added that this is the most significant injury he has had in a career in which he won his first race in 1989.

Quinonez is the regular rider of Alternation, the millionaire who won last year’s Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap and Grade 3 Pimlico Special. The rider had planned to be based at Churchill for the first time this spring. He spent the winter at Oaklawn Park.