01/03/2013 12:25PM

Aqueduct: Apprentice Wilmer Garcia sidelined following automobile accident


Apprentice jockey Wilmer Garcia will be out indefinitely due to a hairline fracture in his neck sustained in a car accident on Wednesday, according to his agent Jose Henriquez.

Garcia, based in New York, was driving to Penn National on Wednesday where on Thursday night he was scheduled to ride Wiseman’s Jet, a 12-1 morning-line choice in a $7,500 claiming race for owner/trainer Osvaldo Rojas. Thursday was a dark day at Aqueduct.

Henriquez said Garcia was hospitalized on Wednesday, but was released and staying with relatives in Pennsylvania. He has been fitted with a neck brace.

Garcia became known as a longshot specialist during the Saratoga meet, where he rode 11 winners at an average win mutuel of $36.60. He also rode 16 winners at the Belmont fall meet and 12 at the Aqueduct fall session. After getting off to a 2-for-55 start at Aqueduct’s inner-track meet, Garcia had won with 3 of his last 15 mounts, including Sweet Sway on New Year’s Day.

While Garcia recuperates from his injury, Henriquez said he has taken the book of apprentice Guillermo Rodriguez, a seven-pound apprentice.

Henriquez said he will also begin booking mounts for journeyman C.C. Lopez, who is expected to return to Aqueduct next week after beginning the winter at Tampa Bay Downs, where he was off to a 1-for-26 start