Mark Anthony Villa, 44, was killed in a race in Hobbs, New Mexico on Saturday.
Villa's wife Krystal said the jockey suffered fatal injuries when the horse he was riding, Separate Money fell. She said as her husband was trying to crawl under the rail to safety when another horse raced by - it's hoof hit Villa in the back of the head and kicked off his helmet.
Krystal said he loved riding and adored his children.
"He was my best friend. I love him with all of my heart and I just don't know how to go without him, but we'll find a way because daddy's always in our heart," said Krystal with her 6-year-old daughter sitting on her lap.
Villa's agent told ABC-7 the jockey's death is a tragic loss.
"I think Mark was well liked by everybody. He was a good worker and I just - I don't have anything bad to say about him. Everybody loved Mark. He was a good family man," said Mike Kelly.
"He'd come a long way in his life. He'd taken a lot of wrong paths and made a lot of wrong choices and he'd really turned his life around for his children and he was the most amazing father," said Krystal as tears streamed down her cheeks.
Krystal told ABC-7 Villa began riding when he was 16-years-old and won more than 1700 races.
Villa raced at several racetracks in southern New Mexico including Sunland Park Racetrack.
According to the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack website, Villa was their second leading rider in the throughbred standing this past summer.