Seven weeks after Jasmine Daniels' fall from a thoroughbred at the Fair Grounds left her paralyzed from the waist down, the assistant trainer said she would mount the same horse — or any other — today, if she could.
Even if she has to be placed atop.
“This is not going to keep me from doing that, for sure,” Daniels, 34, said.
Her connection to horses is so strong that a saddle, placed at the height of a horse, was utilized during her physical therapy.
From her wheelchair, Daniels said she can barely comb her hair, having to relearn the simplest of tasks.
From that saddle?
“I can put curlers in,” she said.
It’s a tough rationalization to comprehend outside horse racing, yet easy to explain to the racing community. Daniels said she was on top of horses in her home state of Illinois before she learned to walk or talk. She calls them, “my babies.”
She has already fulfilled a life-long dream of working in the industry. About five years ago, she teamed up with public trainer Danny Pish, who manages about 600 horses in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
She benefited from her career in passion more than pay, aware of the potential for pain.
“I think she’s dealt with it as well as anybody could imagine,” Pish said. “She’s stubborn and determined.
“She wants to walk again, at the same time understanding there’s a chance she won’t. She’s going to live as full and productive a life as she can.”
Pish expects Daniels back on a horse by the end of the year.
“Probably before the end of the summer,” he added.
“I expect to be back by the spring,” Daniels said. “I have every intention by April — even if I have to tie my legs down to do it.”
Daniels' family is accepting donations to aid with Daniels' lengthy rehabilitation at http://www.gofundme.com/jft3y0
Also, the Jasmine Daniels Fundraiser will be held March 11 at Metairie’s Best Western Landmark Hotel (6-10 p.m.)
The ticket cost of $35 includes a buffet, music, 50’s dance contest and door prizes. Performances will include jockey agent Rick Mocklin & Southern Voice. For more information, Mocklin can be reached at 504-382-9787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Red out
While Kentucky Derby hopeful Texas Red will miss the $400,000 Grade II Risen Star (Feb. 21) at the Fair Grounds with a foot abscess, the first leg of the Triple Crown is still within reach for the son of Afleet Alex.
Texas Red stands in sixth place in the standings, a points system which can earn a thoroughbred a road to the derby. His management team has tied him to the Santa Anita and Arkansas Derby; both offers points to placing finishers towards the Kentucky Derby field.
Texas Red has two victories in six starts, and is co-owned by Eric Brehm and co-owner and trained by Keith Desormeaux.
“Santa Anita Derby is the goal. Arkansas Derby is the back up,” Desormeaux said.
Sharp wins first stakes
First-year trainer Joe Sharp, who is based at the Fair Grounds, earned its first career stakes win this week at Delta Downs, taking part in One King’s Man’s (Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s) victory in the $200,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship.