07/13/2012 3:15PM

Hollywood Park: Garcia mends fences with Baffert

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Martin Garcia is expected to resume riding for leading trainer Bob Baffert soon.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – After two months apart because of a dispute, jockey Martin Garcia has resumed working horses for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, and is likely to have mounts for the leading stable in the near future.

In May, Baffert said he would no longer employ Garcia because the rider did not appear for morning workouts and stated a desire to ride for other stables. Thursday, Garcia worked the multiple stakes winner The Factor for Baffert at Betfair Hollywood Park.

“He called me the other day and asked if he could help,” Baffert said. “He called me and said the right things. Things happen and sometimes people need a break from each other.”

Garcia won nine stakes on Baffert-trained runners earlier this year, including Eden’s Moon in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita in March. Garcia rode the Baffert-trained Drill to a win in the Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes on May 19. Garcia had three wins for Baffert that day but has not ridden for him since.

Garcia is not booked to ride any Baffert-trained horses through Sunday’s final day at Hollywood Park. The Del Mar meeting opens on Wednesday.

Garcia rode The Factor to five stakes wins in 2011 and earlier this year. It is possible that Garcia could ride The Factor in his next scheduled start, the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes over six furlongs at Del Mar on July 29. Baffert stopped short of giving Garcia the call for that race on Friday, saying that it depends on where other riders have commitments.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano rode The Factor to a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 30.

Even without the regular support of Baffert, Garcia has had a strong spring-summer meeting at Hollywood Park. Through Thursday, Garcia was tied for third in the standings with 26 wins.