Jack Gilligan Back In Saddle At Fair Grounds After Recovering From Broken Collarbone – Horse Racing News

Jack Gilligan Back In Saddle At Fair Grounds After Recovering From Broken Collarbone – Horse Racing News

Jockey Jack Gilligan returns to riding at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La., on Friday, piloting Semi Charmed Life (10-1) for trainer Danny Besancon in Race 5. Suffering a broken collarbone after Tripper John reared in the gate on Jan. 10, 2021, Gilligan’s time away to heal extended longer than at first expected.

“I feel better than ever. I didn’t realize how messed up I was really these last couple of years with these concussions and stuff until I took the time off,” Gilligan said. “I’m hoping the improvement I feel right now will show on the race track. Hopefully I will do better than ever.”

Between 2014 and early 2021, Gilligan won 356 races amassing $8,767,893 in earnings. His biggest win to date came at Fair Grounds in the 2019 Mineshaft (G3) aboard Silver Dust for trainer Bret Calhoun.  Having plenty of success in his young career, he has taken that winning attitude to the gym to be cranked for his return.

“I go to the gym five or six days a week,” Gilligan said. “A lot of cardio, a lot of time working the core in the gym. It hasn’t been until this last month that I’ve started getting back on horses, in the morning breezing. It’s been good and I feel really tight right now.”

Now fit and feeling fantastic, the new challenge is finding mounts.

“That’s the tough thing: you have so long off you kind of lose all your business, so it’s like starting all over again,” Gilligan said. “I’m not going to let it keep me down, I know it’s tough. I’m going into it with the mindset I’ve got to start from scratch again. I’m not expecting anything and I am thankful for whatever opportunities I can get. I’m just going to work as hard as I can to try and get back riding.”

In 2020-21, Gilligan enjoyed quite a bit of success with trainer Shane Wilson.

“I hope I can start riding for Shane again,” Gilligan said. “I haven’t gotten on anything for him so far but he said he was going to find something for me. Right now, I’ve got a mount for Jose Camejo on Saturday. One for Gary Scherer so far. I’ve been in there breezing for Al Stall so hopefully he might give me something.”