HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Miguel Mena thought for a second, he may never step into the winning circle again.
“It was a very tough time sitting on the couch in pain and everything, not knowing if I was going to make it back.”
More than a year ago, Mena broke his ankle severely, causing 8 fractured bones in his ankle and heel. The accident occurred when riding at Fairgrounds in New Orleans, when his mount clipped heels down the stretch.
“It was such a bad injury and doctors say they couldn’t get surgery done because of possible risk of infection. The day after the accident I went to the hospital. They put a splint on my foot. I went back to the E-R, they opened it. What I saw literally made me cry, I was scared for my foot.”
This year, he’s bouncing back. He already is leading defending Ellis Park champion, Corey Lanerie, early on in the racing season. His agent says it’s because of his mentality.
“He’s just a strong rider, he gets along with the horse. He understands horses, he know whats they like, what they don’t like, smart rider, makes good decisive decisions, down the stretch he is pretty hard to pass as well.”
Mena likes the competition and believes he has to make it enjoyable even with tough company.
“I’m very good friends with Cory, and we are very competitive, we try to win we go out there so, and maybe I’ll make fun of him a little if I beat him but it’s hard.”
No matter the obstacle, he’s competing to be the best, one race at a time.
“My wife and my kids are there always supporting me, they knew I could make it back and I couldn’t be more thankful.
Reporting from Ellis Park, Michael Gilbert, Eyewitness News