Noberto Arroyo Jr. was an up and coming Jockey racer who lost everything as a result of his drug use. Now the athlete has managed to turn is life around and return to his former racing life in spite of the tribulations faced by he and his family in the past. Arroyo wants to continue racing and move on from his history of partying and drug use to become more focused on improving his family life. Even after being arrested and put in jail for his cocaine use, Arroyo was able to bounce back and continue his success in riding horses.
Trouble with the Law
The jockey who came from Puerto Rico to eventually settle in New York in his teen years began a successful riding career with mounts earning more than $41 million. He had many ups and downs in spite of his winnings with some issues involving violence and drugs. In 2003 he served a 39 day jail sentence for second degree assault. It was his issues with cocaine that led him to face a longer jail sentence which ultimately changed his life and the path of his career. He was arrested again in 2009 near New York’s Saratoga Race Course where had been riding for its six week season. Arroyo was stopped by police who found 12 grams of cocaine stuffed in a sock and the athlete eventually pled guilty to a drug possession charge. Following the arrest, his license was suspended by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and Arroyo was asked to serve 2 and half years in jail.
Getting Back on Track
His time spent in prison hit Arroyo and his family hard although his sentence was reduced to 14 months because of good behavior and effort in a 180 day military-style boot camp. His wife and four children were forced to live in a shelter for four months after losing their home due to Arroyo’s problems with drug possession. He was regretful about the events leading to his arrest but also believed the experience helped him to finally turn his life around. He admits that he had a problem with excessive partying, was addicted to women and began using drugs because of that. After being released from prison he decided to remain straight and narrow so that his drug use and behavior would no longer affect him or his family.
Racing and Winning Again
In spite of being released early from jail, Arroyo still struggled to find work as his jockey license remained suspended because of his arrest. He took minimum wage jobs to help him get back on his feet and was able to work at a shoe store near his parole office in New York. Fortunately, the store’s owners were racing fans and were excited to work with Arroyo. They made it their mission to help the former jockey get back into his sport of choice and he was able to obtain a rider’s license in Kentucky in early 2012. He now rides at Arkansas’ Oaklawn Park and has managed to procure 28 wins already earning him nearly $1 million. Although Arroyo had to go from a promising up and comer rider to a now rebounding athlete getting back on his feet he has already proven successful in his new efforts to race. At one point in his earlier career he was the leading rider in New York with 188 wins. He may have had to start anew because of his cocaine use and arrest but there is no doubt that he will continue to be one of the more successful riders in his sport.
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Cindy Nichols is the founder of 411 Intervention, a full-service intervention resource that helps individuals with addiction issues find treatment solutions. You can see an interview with Cindy here on Recovery Now TV.