09/19/2006 11:00PM

Bejarano to return Wednesday at Turfway


Jockey Rafael Bejarano, sidelined since Aug. 25 with a broken rib, is scheduled to return to action Wednesday night at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

The comeback means that Bejarano, the ninth-leading jockey in North America this year with more than $8.8 million in mount earnings, will be available to ride in the Sept. 30 Kentucky Cup series, easily the richest day of the 22-day Turfway fall meet.

Bejarano incurred the rib injury when his mount, Tizlater, broke down in the ninth race on Aug. 14 at Saratoga, but he continued to ride for 11 more days until he could no longer ride without pain.

Joe Ferrer remains Bejarano's agent, but Julio Espinoza will be assisting Ferrer for several days, until Ferrer returns to the local area. Espinoza said Wednesday that Bejarano had not yet returned to riding horses in the mornings but had been "working out and is feeling good. He's 23. That's what means the most about getting back after something like this."

After Turfway ends Oct. 5, Bejarano will ride at the Keeneland and Churchill Downs meets.