08/12/2003 11:00PM

Jockeys mending after spill


Jockey Tyler Baze on Wednesday said he expects to return to riding next week after suffering injuries to his left foot in a dramatic five-horse spill at Del Mar on Monday.

Jockeys Anthony Lovato and Jose Silva suffered similar back injuries in the accident. Lovato is expected to be out for a month, according to his agent, Tommy Ball. Silva, who does not have an agent, was not taking calls at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla at midday Wednesday.

Baze, the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey of 2000, fractured his big toe and a bone on top of his foot. He said he was scheduled to begin physical therapy Thursday and was hoping to receive a doctor's clearance next Tuesday to resume riding on Wednesday.

Ball said Lovato has a compression fracture of vertebrae that will require four weeks of rest. "There is no break," Ball said. "He's a little uncomfortable. If he hadn't been in such good shape, he could be out longer."

Three horses were euthanized in the accident, which occurred in Monday's fourth race, a sprint for $9,000 to $10,000 claimers. Lovato's mount, Mr. Powerful, broke his left front leg while racing in third place on the turn, causing a chain reaction of fallen horses and riders.

Along with Mr. Powerful, Jentzen, ridden by Silva, and Pacific Pride, ridden by Mick Ruis, were euthanized as a result of injuries.

Ruis and David Flores suffered bruises in the accident. Both returned to ride later on Monday, but Flores eventually took off, complaining of soreness.