The marvelous comeback story of jockey David Cohen

Shortly after being born on Oct. 29, 1984, in Torsen, California, David Cohen was released into the horse racing scene with his dad. Morry Cohen was a well-respected and renowned owner, trainer and breeder on the California circuit, also David dove into the family business. He started out by breaking young horses for his dad and progressed to becoming a groom and finally a trainer’s assistant.
David Cohen then spent a long time in Las Vegas before heading back to California to graduate from Laguna Beach High School. He started his riding career the following year, in 2004 at age 19, also notched his first winner a brief time afterwards at Del Mar on Aug. 11, aboard a horse named Quiten Boy, at odds of 45/1.
Head east, young man
Cohen afterwards moved his tack to the eastern seaboard and secured riding names at Philadelphia Park (Parx) and Delaware Park before settling in New York. Back in 2009, he ranked sixth in the nation in wins, also in 2010, he was the next leading rider one of the big boys at the New York ovals, losing the riding title to Hall of Fame jockey Ramon Dominguez.
In 2012, Cohen was having among the greatest years of his career when he showed up in Saratoga for the Travers Stakes to ride a longshot called Golden Ticket. He’d choose Alpha, a three-time stakes winner along with the 2/1 favored in the favorite Godolphin barn.
As the race went off, both colts stalked the early pace and procured good position. As they turned for home, Cohen and Golden Ticket shot through an opening on the rail and got clear from the stretch at odds of 33/1.
But the classy Alpha has been launching a sustained bid of his own in the center of the racetrack, also as Golden Ticket drained a little nearing the wire, Alpha drifted to make it a photo finish. The end result has been a dead-heat, which remains the only such outcome from the 149 runnings of the Travers. Cohen just about transported a tired Golden Ticket into the cable.
The pain train
On Feb. 1, 2014, David Cohen walked to the paddock in Aqueduct and was going to climb aboard a horse named Recoupe. He did not have a clue that this horse could change his life dramatically. As Cohen stepped into the side of the horse, Recoupe suddenly reared and kicked outward striking Cohen at the perfect leg, seriously fracturing his fibula and tibia, which necessitated surgery involving a plate and six screws.
Cohen worked for back into the game and managed to come back to ride nine months after suffering his injury. He rode for a week and competed in six races, however, the rider had returned soon. His injuries had not treated to the point of him ready to ride.
In the middle of attempting to cure from his physical injuries, Cohen would also encounter some significant mental challenges. His father became seriously ill and eventually succumbed to complications from cancer.
“Growing up, my dad was in the company as an operator and a trainer,” Cohen said. “As a family, we’d visit Del Mar for the summer. My brother, sister and Mom would go to the beach, and I’d go to the racetrack as a young kid. I was glued to my father’s side. As soon as I became a jockey, he moved to work with me all the time. He went with me to Dubai. He must experience everything with me. We had been close as could be. We were inseparable.”
Cohen was attempting to inch forward and recover from his physical problems, as well as deal with the pain of his father’s death, when he was struck with yet another private tragedy. His older sister, Dana, had died unexpectedly from a head injury.
“Although she was my older sister, I played that old brother function,” Cohen said. “She and I were very close. The two closest people in my immediate family were taken away from inside a year-and-a-half of one another.”
Cohen took a while off and struggled for a fantastic while but finally figured out exactly what he had to do. He missed the track and his friends. He missed the contest along with also the horses, and he missed riding in the mud. David Cohen had to ride again to cure.
Allow the healing begin
On November 30, 2017, in the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Cohen rallied for his first race back after a three-and-a-half-year absence. He finished fourth on the helpless racetrack that he missed dearly, however, the comeback ride was every little winning trip for him — and the fans. The kid was back in the game.
Considering his comeback, Cohen has been a busy fellow. He is ridden at the Fair Grounds, Churchill Downs, Woodbine, Del Mar, the New York ovals, and now he’s found a house at Oaklawn.
He is ridden in over 9,000 races in his career and accumulated around $50 million in earnings. He has endured the physical pain of a shattered leg and the anguish of losing two loved ones, and then he came back from it all. David Cohen, who had been named comeback jockey of the year in 2018, is experienced, weathered as serious as a heart attack about the job he loves.
“I’m at a fantastic location, doing what I love,” he said. “I am just blessed to have the support from the coaches and owners and thankful to be able I’m currently in, following this lengthy time off and a serious injury.”
David Cohen is a warrior who is happy to be back in the saddle, and we’re very happy to have him there.

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