“I got emotional a little bit before the race, but when we got to the gate, I got down to doing what I normally do,” said Flores. “After the race, I’m just very grateful. I’m grateful that I’m walking out of here with my health and my family, and I’m able to do something else.
“It was a blessing to do it for 33 years. I rode for the best guys in the game and good horses—I mean, I could have a list, but it would be long.”
Flores won’t be walking away completely from a career in racing that saw him win 3,608 times in North American as a jockey. He’ll be transitioning to a career in training and will be making his way to Ocala, Florida to do so, with an eye on training yearlings for sales.
“Everything has a beginning and has an end,” said Flores. “I’m ready to start a new career, and I’ll start in Ocala and take it from there. I have a couple clients. I’ll start with yearlings, to break them and take to the sales, but if I get people who want to run, that’s another step.”
The ex-jockey-soon-to-be-trainer retired with almost $154 million in career earnings from 25,577 starts in North America. He began his career in Mexico in 1984, and also ran for a year in Singapore.