Cohen Preparing For Career Comeback; To Ride During Oaklawn Park Meet

David Cohen, a rising star in the jockey ranks a decade ago but inactive since October 2014, will be returning to the saddle for the upcoming meeting at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. The 32-year-old California native will be represented by his previous agent, Bill Castle, who said Cohen is expected to be named on a few mounts at the Fair Grounds in Louisiana during the final month of 2017. Oaklawn Park opens Jan. 12.

After working through getting into shape at the gym, the jockey has recently appeared on-track at Churchill Downs in the morning, jogging, galloping and working horses for Wayne Catalano, Brad Cox, Robertino Diodoro and Ron Moquett. In the afternoons, Cohen has been riding the “races” aboard the Equicizer in the jock’s room at the Louisville, Ky., track.

“I’ve been doing everything that is physically possible to get ready for my comeback,” Cohen said. “I’ve been working horses out of the gate, breezing, everything I need to do up to actually riding in a race.”

On Feb. 1, 2014, Cohen was seriously injured in a paddock accident at Aqueduct in New York. Walking toward his mount and preparing to be legged up, Cohen was kicked in the right leg. Taken off the track via ambulance, the jockey was diagnosed with a badly broken fibula and tibia, both the bones in his lower leg and was expected to miss six to eight weeks.

Not long after that, his father, California horse owner Morry Cohen, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Shortly after his father’s death, Cohen’s sister passed away as well. The jockey struggled with his recovery from the leg injury, and the familial trauma took a toll on his emotional well-being. He made a brief comeback in October of 2014, but left the saddle again after just six starts.

David Cohen and Ramon Dominguez after the Travers dead-heat in 2012 between Golden Ticket and Alpha

“It was never a question of whether or not I would come back to riding,” Cohen said. “But I really needed some time to get straightened out, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t come back before I was completely ready. I’m there now.”

The winner of over 1,200 races and $43 million in mount earnings, Cohen has recorded major victories in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes with Golden Ticket (in a dead-heat with Alpha) and aboard Proud Tower Too in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. He launched his career in California, scoring his first victory aboard Quiten Boy at Del Mar Aug. 11, 2004. Cohen rode with some success in the west after losing his apprentice status, then moved to the Mid-Atlantic circuit in 2007.

After he’d picked up riding titles at Delaware Park and Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing), Cohen followed his life-long dream to ride “against the very best” in New York in 2009. That turned out to be the best year of his career thus far; Cohen won 288 races from 1,202 mounts to be the sixth-winningest rider in the country with earnings of $7,357,326.

The post Cohen Preparing For Career Comeback; To Ride During Oaklawn Park Meet appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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