11/19/2010 7:46PM

Injured rider Michael Martinez returns home

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ALBANY, Calif. – Jockey Michael Martinez, paralyzed from the waist down in a Sept. 12 fall at Golden Gate Fields, was discharged from the Santa Clara Valley Rehabilitation Center in San Jose on Friday.

Martinez’s agent Dennis Patterson, who has been with the injured rider daily since his spill, picked him up and drove him to his home in San Pablo near the Golden Gate Fields racetrack.

“I am looking forward to spending the holidays at home with my family,” said Martinez, who will rejoin his fiancée Charlotte Garcia and their baby daughter, Merari, who was born when her father was in Highland Hospital in Oakland being treated for his injuries.

“I truly appreciate the prayers and support I’ve received from the fans, my fellow horsemen and everyone at Golden Gate Fields. I am very grateful.”

Golden Gate Fields is continuing to accept contributions to the Michael Martinez Fund. Checks made payable to “Michael Martinez Fund” can be sent to Golden Gate Fields, 1100 Eastshore Highway, Berkeley, CA 94710.