02/20/2015 12:09PM

Laurel jockeys Juarez, McCarthy making progress

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Jockey Trevor McCarthy has been sidelined since being thrown following the finish of a race at Laurel Park on Dec. 20.

Apprentice Nik Juarez, who has not ridden since being injured in a Sept. 28 spill at Monmouth Park, has begun exercising horses in Maryland and plans to begin his comeback April 2, opening day of the Pimlico meet.

“I’ve been getting on horses in the morning for Hugh McMahon,” Juarez said. “Right now, I’m just focusing on getting back into shape.”

Juarez sustained a mid-grade tear to the muscles in his buttocks and upper leg when his mount fell on the first turn of a mile-and-70-yard race at Monmouth. Although that injury healed relatively quickly, according to Juarez, he decided to have elective surgery in November.

Juarez said he had six screws and a metal plate removed from his fibula, a pin removed from his tibia, and two screws taken out of his ankle. The devices were implanted following an accident he had while working as an exercise rider.

“It feels so much better,” Juarez said. “I would recommend that anyone who is able to get their hardware out, do so.”

Juarez, a 21-year-old from Westminster, Md., has 41 victories from 410 rides. His mounts have earned more than $1 million. He was the leading apprentice at Monmouth Park last summer and finished ninth in the standings with 21 wins.

Juarez still has five months remaining on his apprenticeship.

Trevor McCarthy, who led the rider standings at all three Maryland meets in 2014, has had the cast removed from his broken right wrist. McCarthy said via social media that he still has some therapy to do but that he expects to begin getting on horses at the end of the month.

McCarthy has been sidelined since being thrown following the finish of a race at Laurel Park on Dec. 20.

April Smith More than 1 year ago
Let yourself heal,guys.