Lost And Found Presented By LubriSynHA: In New Role Of Agent, Douglas Keeps A Positive Outlook

Optimism and dedication served Rene Douglas well during his career as a jockey, in which he rode more than 3,500 winners. Now he is capitalizing on that same mindset since turning his attention to being a jockey agent last year.

“It is kind of like what I used to do when I was riding races,” he said. “I was always hustling and trying to get named on the horses I wanted to ride. It is very similar except that now, I don’t ride them.”

The recipient of Douglas’s effort is Angel Arroyo, who ranked seventh in the win and earnings categories at the Gulfstream Park West meeting despite missing the final days because of a minor injury. He returned to action on Dec. 13, a week after the start of Gulfstream Park’s premiere winter season that attracts some of the nation’s top jockeys.

“He lost the momentum he had going into the big meet and lost some of the business he had,” Douglas said. “We had to start over, little by little. Things will pick up again because he is a good rider.”

Douglas is up early each morning to begin his work at home and spends much of his time contacting trainers for future mounts, a task that requires in-depth knowledge of upcoming races that suit specific horses. He gathers such information on a daily basis by watching racing on television and studying results.

“I like to watch every race,” he said. “I can pick up things that make me think I can get Angel to ride those horses.”

Rene Douglas enjoys the ceremony following Coltimus Prime’s victory in the 2017 Clasico Presidente de la Republica

On entry days, he joins fellow agents and racing office staff on Zoom for post-position draws and finalizing mount assignments.

When not engaged in those tasks, Douglas is content to be in the comfy confines of home with his wife Natalia, their sons Christian and Giancarlo, who are in their early 20s, and Douglas’s older son Michael.

Douglas’s current vocation follows a previous endeavor of forming racing partnerships with dear colleagues. Under their Good Friends Stable banner, the group enjoyed particular success with Grade 1 winner Private Zone and Prince of Wales Stakes winner Golden Moka. Douglas specialized in importing and exporting runners between his native Panama and North America such as Panamanian G1 winner Coltimus Prime and the aforementioned Private Zone. While he said he is always on the lookout for potential horses, he prefers to stay focused on improving Arroyo’s resume.

The need to reinvent himself came after an abrupt end to his two decades as a jockey in 2009 when his mount fell on him during a race at Arlington Park. The accident left Douglas without the use of his legs.

“Things happen in life that you never expect, but life continues; what are you going to do?” he said. “I just have to do the best I can as a person and a husband and move forward.”

He credits his “amazing” wife and his loyal friends for their support in helping him overcome severe depression while adjusting to a new way of living. Their dedication and commitment mean more to Douglas than his accomplishments in the saddle, including topping leader boards at Arlington Park and other tracks and winning such high-profile races as the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Dreaming of Anna.

When asked about his favorite memories from his prime, Douglas takes a long pause before casually mentioning that he won the 1996 Belmont Stakes on Editor’s Note for D. Wayne Lukas.

“When I first moved to Chicago, there was something about that place that made me a happy person—the people and the racing,” he said. “Arlington was a special racetrack for me.”

Those experiences were so special that Douglas and Natalia continue to spend summers there while living in South Florida the rest of the year.

Despite major and minor setbacks, Douglas looks on the bright side while facing the challenges.

“I have always been very positive in life,” he said. “That is why I think I won a lot of races. I encourage others to do the same thing.”

The post Lost And Found Presented By LubriSynHA: In New Role Of Agent, Douglas Keeps A Positive Outlook appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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