12/16/2014 1:44PM

Johns Journey recuperating from accident


CYPRESS, Calif. – The 3-year-old gelding Johns Journey faces a lengthy recuperation after unseating jockey Fernando Perez and striking the inside rail in an optional claimer at Los Alamitos on Saturday.

Trainer Mike Machowsky said Johns Journey needed many stitches on a stifle that evening, a procedure that took 2 1/2 hours. Machowsky said X-rays showed no further injuries.

“He’ll be pretty sore for a while,” Machowsky said. “When he hit that rail, he was lucky, I think. We’ll need to leave him in the stall, and we can’t walk him. It will take time.”

Johns Journey has won 2 of 16 starts.

The gelding was racing in tight quarters on the inside when Perez checked behind the leader, Urban Hunter. Johns Journey struck a temporary rail on the backstretch where the track’s five-eighths-mile course joins the main track. A few strides later, Johns Journey struck the permanent inside rail of the main track.

Urban Hunter finished second in the six-furlong race but was disqualified to unplaced for the interference. Jockey Alex Canchari rode Urban Hunter but was not sanctioned by track stewards Sunday. Perez was briefly hospitalized, complaining of neck pain. He was released within hours and rode at Los Alamitos on Sunday.

◗ Sunday is the final day of the December Thoroughbred meeting at Los Alamitos. The Santa Anita winter-spring meeting opens Dec. 26 with a program highlighted by three graded stakes.

Shared Belief, beaten for the first time in his eight-race career in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 1, will be favored to win the $300,000 Malibu Stakes, a Grade 1 over seven furlongs for 3-year-olds. The other graded stakes on the card are the Grade 1 La Brea and the Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Mile (formerly the Sir Beaufort).