Hall of Fame jockey Randy Romero’s decades-long battle with multiple severe health issues ended around midnight Aug. 28 when the Louisiana native passed. He was 61.
Romero had been battled a series of health issues going back to 1983, when a near-fatal sauna explosion at Oaklawn Park burned over 60% of his body. While receiving blood transfusions during skin graph operations, he contracted hepatitis C. The hepatitis had severely damaged his liver.
He would continue to deal with additional health issues, including a stomach tumor in 2015 while he was being screened as a candidate for a liver and/or kidney transplant. More stomach cancer was found last year, and Romero was placed on a home hospice program around a month ago. recently he could no longer tolerate dialysis which he had been receiving for years.
Randy Romero won 4294 races and over 75 million in purses. It has been said the film Casey’s Shadow was loosely based on his family growing up in Louisiana. One of racing’s best memories of Romero is his guiding Personal Ensign to a thrilling nose victory over that year’s Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs.
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