07/30/2017 2:04PM

Jockey Ochoa sent to hospital after morning spill, seems unhurt


DEL MAR, Calif. – Jockey Juan Ochoa appeared to escape serious injury Sunday morning at Del Mar when he was tossed from a horse he was working and was hit by the horse's hoof, sending him to a local hospital for observation.

Ochoa was aboard a horse trained by Sal Gonzalez Jr. The horse broke from the gate, then stumbled, dislodging Ochoa. The rider lay on the ground for several minutes before being attended to by medical personnel.

“I just spoke him on the phone at the hospital and he said he was fine,” Gonzalez said Sunday morning. “He got stepped on and had the wind knocked out of him.”

All riders are required to wear safety vests, which likely prevented more serious injury.

Ochoa has one win this meet, aboard the Gonzalez-trained 2-year-old filly Mama’s Kid in a maiden race July 20. Horse and rider are entered in Wednesday’s feature, the $100,000 California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Stakes.

“I hope he’s all right. I need him Wednesday,” Gonzalez said.