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Jockeys' families dealing with emotions
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff

Jaime Theriot


Rene Douglas


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Published: 6/1/2009 12:17 AM

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It's a tale of two families dealing with two different kinds of pain.

While the family of injured jockey Rene Douglas holds a round-the-clock vigil at his bedside at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago hoping for a full recovery, Dawn Theriot and her husband Jamie, who was involved in the on-track incident last Saturday at Arlington Park, are in Louisville dealing with their own kind of pain.

"I've never seen my husband cry so much," Dawn Theriot said, tearing up at the thought.

"It's terrible. I wish it was a bad dream and everything would be perfect. I wish it never happened."

What happened in Arlington's ninth race May 23, according to Arlington Park stewards, is that Theriot's mount Sky Mom "jostled" Douglas' mount Born to Be, "causing the jostled horse to clip heels and fall, injuring both jockey and horse."

For that, Theriot and Sky Mom were disqualified from fifth and placed last, and Theriot was handed a 30-day suspension.

On Friday, a judge denied Theriot a temporary restraining order seeking to delay the suspension.

Douglas, who was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital after the spill, underwent seven hours of surgery and still remains in ICU.

But there was some positive news on his condition released late this week. Doreen Razo, wife of jockey Eddie Razo Jr. and spokesperson for the Douglas family, wrote on Facebook that: "(Thursday) was an excellent day. One of the chest tubes was removed and he has one more to go. Rene is doing most of the breathing on his own with very little help from the ventilator. The goal for Friday is to wean the ventilator completely and remove the other tube. He has made many positive steps and it's only been 5 days since the accident and it's amazing how far he has come."

Theriot said she has tried to reach out to the Douglas family, but understands the response.

"I know I'd be pretty upset too," Theriot said. "You can't blame her, that's her husband laying there. I feel for her being a jock's wife, I know her pain and grief."