Kentucky Derby jockey Miguel Mena killed after being hit by car on Louisville interstate

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Miguel Mena, horse racing, 1986-2021.
Miguel Mena, horse racing, 1986-2021.

Former Kentucky Derby jockey Miguel Mena died Halloween night after being hit by a vehicle along Interstate 64.

Mena — whose given name was Jose Mena Rodriguez — was struck just after 7:30 p.m. Sunday on I-64 in Louisville, according to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office.

Mena, 34, was a native of Peru and began riding in the United States in 2003. According to Equibase.com, he won 2,079 races and earned more than $72.4 million in purses.

His death was confirmed by one of his trainers, Al Stall Jr.

"He was a talented rider and a very likable guy," Stall said. "He worked my best horses in the mornings and rode some in the afternoon. He had a tremendous amount of talent and he delivered for us over the years."

He had two career Grade 1 victories — on Champagne d’Oro in the 2010 Test Stakes at Saratoga and Pool Play in the 2011 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs. In 2015, Mena swept the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes, the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes and the Louisiana Derby with International Star.

He rode twice in the Kentucky Derby, finishing 20th on Backtalk in 2010 and ninth on Necker Island in 2020.

Mena most recently rode at Keeneland on Saturday. He leaves behind a wife and two young daughters, Stall Jr. said.

The driver of the vehicle was going westbound. The Jefferson County Coroner's Office ruled the death an accident, a release from the office stated.

Contact reporter Krista Johnson at kjohnson3@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Jockey Miguel Mena dies at 34 after being hit by car on interstate