Horse racing, Santa Anita

No ‘official’ word on Bejarano’s return

According to a Santa Anita spokesman, there is no word on when jockey Rafael Bejarano will return to riding following a horrible breakdown 10 days ago.

“We have not been able to get any official word,” said Mike Willman, head of the track’s publicity department, on Sunday in an email response about the jockey’s status.

Willman said due to HPPA regulations, which protect patients, it has been difficult to get word on Bejarano, who is the perennial Southern California riding champion.

Unofficially, Bejarano supposedly suffered a broken collarbone, two broken bones in his shoulder and four broken ribs. Bejarano supposedly had surgery last Wednesday.

The jockey has been seen in several photos on Twitter (@JoeTalamo and @LosPonies) from his hospital bed, appearing to be in good spirits despite the injuries.

The Los Angeles Times reported on May 12 that Bejarano would be out four to six weeks, according to Joe Ferrer, Bejarano’s agent.

According to Willman, Bejarano had not been released from the hospital, as of Sunday.

A natural return might be for the start of the Del Mar race meet in mid-July, but jockeys, with some prodding from their agents, are known to come back early from injuries because they don’t get paid unless they are riding.

In Bejarano’s absence, veteran jockey Kent Desormeaux appears to be picking up some more mounts upon his return to Southern California. Desormeaux won with a pair first-time starters on Sunday. Also jockey Elvis Trujillo was expected to move his tack from Gulfstream Park to Arcadia after May 26, but he is named on horses Thursday and Friday at Santa Anita. Tom Knust is set to be Trujillo’s agent.

Here’s hoping Bejarano makes a speedy and full recovery and that his fans receive some “official” word soon on how the jockey is doing and when he is expected back.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 2 (Let Faith Arise $3, eighth race; Dirty Blonde $11.60, 10th)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 1 (Tiz the Key $4.40, second)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 0

Sunday’s long show winners: 4 (Prodigious $23, third; Sweetrayofsunshine $6.20, fourth; Husband’s Folly $6, seventh; Home Run Kitten $4.60, ninth)

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