08/11/2013 2:43PM

Del Mar: Gomez trying to rebuild his business

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Benoit & Associates
Dice Flavor (No. 8) and jockey Garrett Gomez win the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap on Saturday, Gomez's first day riding since July 14.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – A day after he made a triumphant return to riding following a four-week break to undergo counseling for alcoholism, jockey Garrett Gomez had a typical start to his morning Sunday.

Gone were meetings with psychiatrists and track stewards, replaced by a busy morning of working horses in preparation for races later this month. Gomez worked horses for Peter Miller and later for Paddy Gallagher.

Gomez, 41, said he was delighted to be back in action, having celebrated his return Saturday with a brilliant ride to win the $151,000 La Jolla Handicap for 3-year-olds on turf aboard the Gallagher-trained Dice Flavor.

“You want to make your presence known,” he said. “That’s the way to do it. I was happy.”

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Gomez had three mounts Saturday, his first day of riding since July 14, the final day of the Betfair Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting. They were his first rides since he took off his mounts from July 17-20 following a relapse of alcoholism that derailed his career in the early 2000s.

Gomez underwent counseling in late July and early August and was cleared by a doctor to return to riding for Saturday’s races. He had met with track stewards July 28 and Aug. 2 to discuss his return.

The approval process took longer than he expected, he said last week. As for his treatment, Gomez said  he plans to continue to attend counseling sessions.

The Del Mar meeting runs through Sept. 4, and Gomez will spend the next few weeks rebuilding business lost earlier this summer. Prior to his comeback Saturday, he had ridden only four days since June 9, citing family issues as the reason for a lengthy absence in June.

Rebuilding business will take time. Gomez has a quiet day Wednesday. He rides two of the eight races – the sixth on the $25,000 claimer Somewhere With You and the eighth on the maiden claimer Party Bus.

Gallagher said Sunday that Dice Flavor is likely to run in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby over 1 1/8 miles on turf Sept. 1. In the La Jolla, Dice Flavor closed from eighth in a field of nine to win by a half-length over Den’s Legacy. The La Jolla was Dice Flavor’s first stakes win since the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields in February.

By Scat Daddy, Dice Flavor races for Oda Racing Stable and U.S. Equine and has won 3 of 9 starts and $274,500.

Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
GO GO's Back The most talented, strongest, intelligent rider is back where he belongs in the winners circle. Only wish is he relocates to the East Coast. Welcome back brother
Sal Carcia More than 1 year ago
I wish Garrett a successful and safe return. I am also hoping his counseling goes well.
Stealth More than 1 year ago
Tony Z, if you are going to spew out information, make sure you have your facts straight. For one, Gomez did not even go to Chicago the next day after that spill, so you must have been watching another rider and have no idea who Gomez is! Second, Gomez is a class act and his career accomplishments speak for themselves. I find your entire post laughable!
kram hslew More than 1 year ago
tony z, get a job if you need money but don't blame garret because of a green 2 year old.
tony zag More than 1 year ago
He should be made to give that entire purse his 10% to the owners of that two year old he killed on May 24th, 2013. He was drunk, he was having marriage/family problems, and he decided to end it all so he reached around right handed and struck a 2 yo twice extremely hard, he was 2-1/2 lengths in front....the horse was going to win if he did nothing....he hit that 2yo with malice and the replay will verify it....sorry the stewards are covering it up along with the CHRB.....their report said the horse ducked....thats hooey........sorry Peter Millers trained 2yo got the worst of it........Gomez wanted to end it all right there.......he went to Chicago the next day .......rode terrible........should have never got on a horse.
Stealth More than 1 year ago
Tony Z, if you are going to spew out information, make sure you have your facts straight. For one, Gomez did not even go to Chicago the next day after that spill, so you must have been watching another rider and have no idea who Gomez is! Second, Gomez is a class act and his career accomplishments speak for themselves. I find your entire post laughable!
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
some comments require no comment. your foolishness is their for all to see.
Randy Atkins More than 1 year ago
idiot...you have no clue as to what you are talking about
TheRaiderFan More than 1 year ago
He shouldn't need to rebuild anything, his career is far too impressive to let a one month hiatus to sort out family issues impact his business.
mike gentile More than 1 year ago
Yea Pretty Impressive At The Coke Dealers
Bob More than 1 year ago
It shouldn't take him long to regain his business as it obviously took him no time to regain his riding form...the only competition he has on the West Coast for best jockey in the room is Raphael Bejarano, with Mikey Smith a distant third!
mike gentile More than 1 year ago
S**t Gomez Aint Half The Rider Mike Smith Is Whatever Your Smoking Must Be The Same Thing Gomez Is Smoking Or Snorting
Randy Atkins More than 1 year ago
you forgot Gary Stevens.....he ranks 2nd to Garrett in my book..with Bejarno 3rd
Kim Curtsinger More than 1 year ago
Glad to see Garrett has pulled himself back together. I wish him the best and hope he continues to successfully deal with the issues.
Rafiat Mohammed More than 1 year ago
Garrett is a class jockey lets all wish him well . We need good jocks like him to keep the crowd coming
aelafave More than 1 year ago
Good for him! Hope he continues to do well. Always a great rider!
Steve Reed More than 1 year ago
Garrett, You are "as Good as it Gets" coming down the lane when it counts. Continue with your progress in all aspects of life. Stay Strong !