12/09/2016 3:06PM

Jockey Perez recovering from concussion, brain bleeding


CYPRESS, Calif. – Jockey Fernando Perez faces an indefinite period of rest after he was diagnosed with a concussion and bleeding in the brain last week, he said Thursday.

Perez was hospitalized for four days last weekend to undergo tests after an incident during a morning workout Dec. 2 at Del Mar in which he said his mount lunged forward with such ferocity that he suffered a concussion.

Perez is resting at his home near Santa Anita. He said he will have consultations with doctors in coming weeks to determine treatment, but that he does not expect an immediate return.

The incident that led to the diagnosis happened in the middle of a workout, he said.

“At the three-eighths pole, the horse pulled me,” he said in a phone interview. “I couldn’t feel my arm. I felt dizzy. When I tried to pull him up, my arm was numb.

“I went to the hospital, and they said I had a concussion and my brain was bleeding a little bit. The doctor said I’ve had too many concussions. He said, ‘If something happens, you could have been done.’ ”

Perez was released from the hospital Tuesday evening and has been advised to rest.

“The doctor said to take it easy,” he said. “I’ll get some medication and see how that works. I want to take care of myself.”

Perez, 30, has been riding for 10 years, primarily on the West Coast, having won his first race in Mexico City in December 2006. A former leading rider at Hastings Park in British Columbia, Perez has ridden in Southern California since the fall of 2013.

Perez was sidelined for more than a month after suffering a broken collarbone in a spill at Hollywood Park in December 2013.

In recent months, Perez tied for 10th in the jockey standings at the Del Mar summer meeting with 11 wins, tied for sixth at the Santa Anita autumn meeting with 11 wins, and was 11th in the Del Mar autumn meeting with five wins. Perez rode two winners on Dec. 1, his most recent day of riding.

Perez won the Damascus Stakes for sprinters on the promising Silent Bird on Nov. 4 at Santa Anita. Earlier this year, he won the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita on the longshot Lost Bus.

“It’s hard,” he said. “I was doing good at Del Mar and had a good Santa Anita.”