01/22/2011 3:36PM

Martin Garcia will resume riding Thursday at Santa Anita

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BENOIT PHOTO
Martin Garcia has squared away his visa problems and will resume riding at Santa Anita this week.

Jockey Martin Garcia has resolved his immigration issues, is back in Southern California, and will resume riding on Thursday, his agent, Jim Pegram, said Saturday morning.

Garcia has not ridden since shortly after the Breeders’ Cup. According to Pegram, Garcia had a work visa that required him to return to his native Mexico, then reapply to work in the United States. That process took more than two months.

Pegram drove to San Diego on Friday to pick up Garcia, who had arrived from Mexico. On Saturday morning, Garcia worked several horses at Hollywood Park. Entries for Thursday’s races are to be taken on Sunday morning, and Pegram said he already had lined up a couple of mounts for Garcia for that day. Pegram said he expected Garcia to ride a couple more on Friday.

Among the trainers for whom Garcia worked horses on Saturday morning was Bob Baffert, who was Garcia’s biggest booster last year, when they won races such as the Preakness Stakes and Haskell Invitational with Lookin At Lucky, and the Santa Anita Handicap with Misremembered.

During Garcia’s absence, Rafael Bejarano has become the first-call rider for Baffert. Bejarano and Baffert are atop their respective divisions at Santa Anita this winter.

“It’s going to take time to get back in,” Pegram said.