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Man Arrested in Cordero Death

May 1, 2001

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) _Nassau County police on Tuesday arrested a man accused of leaving the scene of an accident that killed Marjorie Clayton Cordero, a former jockey, trainer and agent, and the wife of Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr.

Robert Mikols, 61, a crane operator from Glen Cove, surrendered at Nassau police headquarters where he was charged with leaving the scene of a car accident, a felony punishable by up to four years in jail, according to Sgt. William Cocks of the Nassau Homicide Squad. He was told to appear in court June 22 to respond to the charge.

Mikols is accused of driving the car that hit Marjorie Cordero, 41, as she was walking southbound on Glen Cove Road in Greenvale around 9:30 p.m. last Jan. 22, Cocks said.

``It is our opinion it would have been obvious that you hit a human being,″ Cocks said. ``There would be no doubt.″

Cocks said he did not know whether Marjorie Cordero would have survived the impact had the driver stopped and immediately sought assistance.

``This is a terrible tragedy,″ said Joel Winograd, Mikols attorney. ``Mr. Mikols has gone to church to say prayers for Mrs. Cordero.″ Winograd declined further comment.

The most serious crime that Mikols could be charged with was leaving the scene of an accident since there was no witnesses or evidence that showed he was driving while impaired or that he was operating his car recklessly, according to Cocks. Cocks said that Mikols has no previous drunk driving record.

Marjorie Cordero, one of New York racing’s most popular figures on the backstretch, was a jockey from 1982 to 1985, winning 71 races in 911 mounts and earning more than $1 million in purses.

She turned to training and won 42 races with 400 starters from 1985 to 1999. Most recently, she served as the agent for jockey Hector Rosario.

Her husband retired from racing in 1992 after a near-fatal spill at Aqueduct five months earlier. He was a trainer for several years before becoming the agent for jockey John Velazquez.