08/25/2017 12:40PM

After hip-replacement surgery, Solis unsure if career is over

Barbara D. Livingston
Hall of Fame jockey Alex Solis

DEL MAR, Calif. – Hall of Fame jockey Alex Solis, who has not ridden since April, recently underwent hip-replacement surgery and is unsure if he will return to riding.

Solis, 53, said Thursday that he began physical therapy last week but is months away from a decision about his future.

“My body is adjusting to the hardware,” Solis said. “I feel like a bionic man. I want to see how I feel about it. I don’t want to say anything right now.”

Solis, who has won 5,027 races in North America, rode sparingly early this year. He won a maiden race Feb. 4 at Santa Anita and had only five more mounts until April 21, his most recent day of riding. On Thursday, Solis was at Del Mar for the California Horse Racing Board meeting. He has been a racing board commissioner since 2015.

Solis said he would like to return if physically capable, having watched the Pacific Classic at Del Mar last weekend with envy. Solis won the race in 1996 on Dare and Go, who beat Cigar in the race’s greatest upset.

“Watching the Pacific Classic was emotional for me,” he said. “I try not to watch too many races. It makes me sad.”

Solis said the start of physical therapy has helped him to resume physical activity that was an integral part of his life.

“I’ve been pulling my hair out,” he said. “I’m used to going hiking and running.”