07/22/2009 11:00PM

Bejarano suffers broken jaw, nose


DEL MAR, Calif. -- Jockey Rafael Bejarano suffered multiple facial fractures on Wednesday's opening-day card at Del Mar when his mount, Mi Rey, broke down badly and dropped the rider in the stretch run of the third race.

Bejarano was taken to Scripps Hospital in nearby La Jolla, where X-rays revealed he had fractures of the jaw, nose, and orbital bones, according to Dr. Philip Sanderson, who examined Bejarano in the track's first-aid station before he was taken to the hospital.

Bejarano was scheduled to remain in the hospital overnight, according to Sanderson, who said Bejarano may need surgery to repair his injuries. Bejarano also was to have X-rays taken of his left shoulder.

Mi Rey was racing prominently as the field in the six-furlong race turned into the stretch. Racing just off the rail, he broke down, tossing Bejarano. Bejarano was clipped by Senor Afortunado, who was rallying up in the inside under jockey Garrett Gomez and, being right behind Mi Rey, had no chance to avoid the fallen rider.

Bejarano, 27, was the leading rider at Del Mar last summer. He finished second at the recently concluded Hollywood Park meeting.

Mi Rey, 8, was euthanized because of the extensive injuries to his right front leg.

"He suffered a compound fracture of his right front fetlock," said Dr. Rick Arthur, the equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board. "It was an injury that was not amenable to surgical repair."

Mi Rey was making the 37th start of his career. Mi Rey was racing for a $10,000 claiming price on Wednesday. He had raced for as little as $10,000 twice earlier this year, and for as much as $32,000 as recently as May. He had finished seventh of 10 in a $16,000 claiming race at Hollywood Park in his previous start on June 13.

Mi Rey was trained by Doug O'Neill, who claimed him for $10,000 from Jeff Mullins in January. Wednesday's race was his seventh start for O'Neill, for whom he had won twice.