05/12/2012 12:06PM

Hollywood Park: Berrio hospitalized following second stroke


Jockey Omar Berrio was hospitalized on Friday after suffering a stroke that left him with some paralysis on the right side of his body, according to trainer A.C. Avila.

Avila employs Berrio as an exercise rider at Santa Anita and said the 43-year-old rider had suffered some damage to his speech. The extent of the injuries was being determined on Saturday, he said.

“We don’t know yet,” he said. “They’re doing scans.”

Berrio was aboard a horse at Santa Anita on Friday morning when he began to experience cramp-like symptoms, Avila said. The jockey requested medication attention from ambulance staff.

“They called the ambulance and took him to the hospital,” Avila said.

“He said, ‘I don’t feel good.’ He got off the horse.

“According to his friend, he wasn’t taking his medication for high blood pressure.”

Friday’s stroke was the second that Berrio has suffered in the last 16 months. In December 2010, Berrio suffered a stroke that left him sidelined for a month.

A native of Panama, Berrio has ridden sporadically this year, winning with 1 of 14 mounts, an allowance race at Santa Anita aboard the stakes winner Great Warrior in April. At the current Betfair Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting, Berrio is winless with three mounts.