05/13/2012 4:33PM

Hollywood Park: Berrio showing movement in limbs following second stroke

Benoit & Associates
Omar Berrio is able to move his arms and legs, but remains hospitalized following his second stroke within 16 months.

Jockey Omar Berrio, who suffered an apparent stroke on Friday, remained hospitalized on Sunday but was moving his arms and legs and talking with visitors, according to Southern California backstretch chaplain Eddie Meza.

There was concern in the aftermath of the stroke that Berrio had suffered damage to his speech and possible paralysis to his right side, but Meza said on Sunday that was not the case. Meza visited the 43-year-old Berrio in the hospital.

“He was moving his arms and legs,” Meza said. “He was talking.”

Berrio was exercising a horse for trainer A.C. Avila at Santa Anita on Friday morning when he complained to ambulance personnel that he was not feeling well. The jockey was later hospitalized.

“If he’d waited two or three hours, it could have been more serious,”

Meza said. “He was wise enough to get off the horse.”

Meza said it was unclear how long Berrio would be hospitalized.

“They need to monitor him,” Meza said.

The rider has suffered from blood pressure problems in the past, which surfaced again on Friday, according to Avila and Meza.

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.