Updated on 05/14/2014 4:31PM

Bejarano out indefinitely with multiple injuries

Barbara D. Livingston
Rafael Bejarano sustained several broken bones in a one-horse spill in Saturday's fourth race at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Jockey Rafael Bejarano, the leading rider in Southern California, faces an undetermined period away from racing after sustaining breaks to his collarbone, a rib, and both of his shoulder blades in a one-horse spill at Santa Anita on Saturday.

Joe Ferrer, Bejarano’s agent, said in a text on Sunday morning that he was waiting to hear from doctors about Bejarano’s recovery period. The jockey is likely to face several months on the sidelines. His absence will lead to widespread changes in the jockey standings in Southern California.

Since arriving in Southern California in late 2007, Bejarano, 32, has won 18 riding titles at Del Mar, Hollywood Park, and Santa Anita. Bejarano won the riding title at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting that ended on April 20, recording 93 wins. Joe Talamo was second with 54 wins.

Bejarano swept the titles at the five race meetings at Del Mar, Hollywood Park, and Santa Anita in 2013. He finished in a tie for first with Edwin Maldonado with 51 wins at the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting last year.

Maldonado is the last rider to beat Bejarano for a title. At the 2012 autumn meeting at Hollywood Park, Maldonado had 25 wins, one more than Bejarano.

The current spring-summer meeting at Santa Anita continues through June 29. With Bejarano likely to be out until summertime, riders such as Talamo, Maldonado, Tyler Baze, and apprentice Drayden Van Dyke will have additional mounts.

Through Saturday, Talamo led the standings with 13 wins, two more than Bejarano and three more than Baze. Van Dyke was fourth with 9 wins, two more than Maldonado.

Bejarano was injured in Saturday’s fourth race when Gameboy Luke broke down in a maiden race on the hillside turf course. Gameboy Luke, the 6-5 favorite, was racing in second as the field approached the main track when he suffered a leg injury. Gameboy Luke was euthanized, according to track stewards.

Bejarano fell heavily on his right shoulder in the spill. He was taken to nearby Huntington Hospital, where he will remain for a few days, according to Santa Anita officials.

Through Saturday, Bejarano ranked fifth in the nation in money earnings, with $4.9 million.



Tom More than 1 year ago
East Coast guy here, was in SoCal for a few days so I spent Sat/Sun at SA, saw the spill through my binocs as it happened. A Go for Wand moment. Excruciating to watch. Next day 2 horses going down the hill in different races were pulled up and vanned off. Last time I was in SoCal prior to this time was 2007 or so, the 1 day I went to SA I saw another turf sprint in which Voulez Vous broke down after coming off the dirt break, after leading though an opening quarter under 21 and the half in 43 and something. She loaded off but you could see she displaced her ankle and was finished. I've seen a lot of other turf sprints at SA on TV and it seems to me a disproportionate number of horses suffer injuries going down the hill. An awful lot of stress placed on those skinny forelegs running downhill that fast.
Damian Gurri More than 1 year ago
Rafa, con fe Dios te recuperará pronto. Rezaré por tu regreso a la competición de tus sueños. Que Dios te bendiga.
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
It's a tough job these jockeys do for a living, they IMO are the best athlete's in the world. With that being said I wish you a speedy recovery, one tuff hombre. Condolences to the connections of Gameboy Luke.
William More than 1 year ago
Recuperate pronto campeon!!
Barbara More than 1 year ago
Always loved watching Raffy, remember back when he rode at Turfway Park, what a enjoyable rider to watch, always has smile on his face, love the way after winning a race he thanks god. You get well Raffy, and we will all see you at DEL MAR. God Bless
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
Barbara, it appears you have some sort of agenda. I don't think this page is the appropriate place for you to start it! what if that was one of your loved ones? you should probably stick with needlepoint or troll somewhere else.
Barbara Hoffman More than 1 year ago
Bobbie, Hi everyone! I'm fairly new to horseracing (it's my new favorite sport). I've been to Santa Anita Race Track. It's a beautiful track but a dangerous one for both horse and jockey. Can something be done to make it safer? And why are horses euthanized as soon as they break a leg? If it's repairable. why can't they save the leg and sell the horse to a breeding farm? Or is it because the owners no longer care about the horse if the horse can no longer race and make them $$$$$? It seems ashamed to me. They don't euthanize injured jockeys (thank goodness)----so why injured horses?
Jacka Diamond More than 1 year ago
Unlike us humans who will not put weight on the injury horses are different. They will thrash about constantly...@ 1100+ pounds almost I possible..Look at Barbaro..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Without a doubt, jockeys are the greatest athletes.
Tiznow More than 1 year ago
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
My condolences to the connections of Gameboy Luke and prayers for Rafael to recover fully. I was listening to this race on HRTV and heard the crowd gasp. By the time I turned my head, the field was already in the stretch. Luckily, I didn't see this spill. I've seen too many of them in my life...they are all horrifying. Before the field leaves the gate, I pray that the race finishes safely for both man and beast.
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
Quick recovery.