01/14/2011 6:02PM

Berrio returning to saddle after stroke

Benoit & Associates
Omar Berrio will return to race riding on Sunday after suffering a stroke on Dec. 30.

Jockey Omar Berrio, who suffered a minor stroke Dec. 30, is scheduled to resume riding Sunday. Berrio is booked to ride Straightomidnight in the first race, a one-mile race for $18,000 to $20,000 claimers.

On the evening of Dec. 30, Berrio was hospitalized after showing discomfort. The 42-year-old jockey said he is now taking blood pressure medication.

“The next day, I felt better,” he said.

Berrio was released from the hospital Jan. 1 and resumed working horses at Santa Anita last week.

On Friday, Berrio was at Santa Anita where he jogged a mile and walked two miles on the main track before the first race.

Berrio rides primarily for trainer A.C. Avila, who starts Straightomidnight. In 2010, Berrio rode Made for Magic to a win in the Grade 2 Milady Handicap and Go Forth North in the Grade 3 Harold Ramser Handicap, both for Avila.

In 2010, Berrio won 23 races from 159 mounts, a year after returning from a suspension for a cocaine positive.