11/16/2010 2:55PM

Gomez bruised but no worse, test shows

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Tom Keyser
Garrett Gomez is taken via stretcher to an ambulance after a Nov. 4 spill at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Garrett Gomez suffered “bad bruising,” but nothing worse, to his ailing right shoulder, according to results from a magnetic resonance imaging test taken last Friday, said Ron Anderson, agent for the star jockey. Gomez still is in enough pain that he will forgo riding at the balance of the Churchill Downs fall meet and will return to action on Nov. 28, Hollywood Derby day at Hollywood Park.

Gomez traveled to Los Angeles last week to consult with Dr. Dan Capen, a noted orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, and to undergo the MRI test. The two-time Eclipse Award winning jockey injured the shoulder in a Nov. 4 spill at Churchill but was able to fulfill most of his mounts the next two days, including all eight of his mounts in the Breeders’ Cup. He has been sidelined since winning the final BC race, the Nov. 6 Classic, aboard Blame, who narrowly held off Zenyatta in a dramatic finish.

Before being injured, Gomez had intended to ride the balance of the Churchill fall meet that runs through Nov. 28. He was named to ride one mount Thursday, Corleone in the eighth race, but will be replaced.

Anderson said Gomez will be based in Southern California through the winter, with Santa Anita and its traditional Dec. 26 opening to follow the Hollywood meet.

Fugitive Angel a key for Sheppard

Jonathan Sheppard enjoyed perhaps the greatest run of his Hall of Fame career over the past few seasons, when he could look down his shed row and see such stars as Forever Together, Informed Decision, Cloudy’s Knight, Just as Well, Fantasia, and Rainbow View.

But with Forever Together and Cloudy’s Knight having recently retired, and the others either headed that way or not in peak form, Sheppard will be in something of a rebuilding mode this winter. One horse to help with that process is a filly named Fugitive Angel, who will be one of the favorites when the Grade 2, $175,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes is run Saturday at Churchill.

Fugitive Angel, a 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred, will bring a four-race win streak to the Mrs. Revere, a 1 1/16-mile turf race expected to get a strong and sizable field. The filly posted a 3 3/4-length romp last month in the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland.

“She has been training well and is a very mature 3-year-old,” said Barry Wiseman, the longtime assistant who has been overseeing Fugitive Angel at Churchill for Sheppard.

Cox in rebuilding phase

Brad Cox was busy Sunday as he continues to attempt to rebuild his stable. Cox had trained about 25 horses at Delaware Park this summer for Midwest Thoroughbreds, the leading owner in North America in wins this year, before being relieved of those duties in September, severely depleting his stock.

Cox, 30, claimed two horses for $15,000 each from the last race Sunday: Glory Chaser and Decantering, the respective first- and fourth-place finishers.

“I’m up to seven horses,” said Cox, who went out on his own in December 2004 after five years as a stablehand and assistant under Dallas Stewart. “I’m sticking around here through the holidays, then heading to Oaklawn Park around the first of the year.”

Cox won with his only starter so far this meet, Dixie Pixie, who took the Nov. 4 opener when in for a $16,000 claiming price.

◗ Two men with strong racetrack ties, Dan Liebman and Tommy Walters, are opening a new restaurant called “Staxx” this week in Louisville in the hopes of making it a go-to spot for horsemen and fans. Liebman is a former editor-in-chief and columnist at The Blood-Horse and Walters has been a longtime horse owner and horseplayer.