04/15/2012 5:16PM

Santa Anita: Broken ribs will sideline Pedroza for about a month


ARCADIA, Calif.- Veteran jockey Martin Pedroza is expected to miss two to four weeks of racing after being unseated in a spill in Saturday’s ninth race.

Pedroza was diagnosed with two broken ribs and spent Saturday night in a hospital, according to his agent, Richie Silverstein. Apprentice jockey Eswan Flores, unseated from his mount in the same spill, took off his mounts on Sunday. Flores is expected to return to riding on Thursday, when racing resumes at Santa Anita.

Pedroza was unseated from 7-5 favorite Courageousandbold on the backstretch of a five-furlong race for maiden claimers.

Courageousandbold was in tight quarters after Whisky Talks, ridden by Jesiere Medina, crossed to the inside, causing interference.

Courageousandbold clipped heels with a rival and fell. Love My Girl, ridden by Flores, struck the fallen horse and unseated Flores.

Both horses ran away without apparent mishaps. Whisky Talks, who finished seventh was disqualified to unplaced. Medina, who had her first mount of the year aboard Whisky Talks, is scheduled to appear at a hearing with Santa Anita stewards and is expected to face a sanction, most likely a suspension.

Pedroza is likely to return to riding in the first weekend of May, though Silverstein said a return for the California Gold Rush program at Hollywood Park on April 28 is a remote possibility.

“We’d love to ride Gold Rush Day,” Silverstein said. “It’s not realistic, but it could happen.

“He’s in a bit of pain. He’s got a couple of broken ribs. His comeback is up to him. It’s how much pain he can take.  I want to get him home and get him comfortable.

“It could have been a whole lot worse. I don’t want to downplay it.”

Pedroza, 46, has won 30 races at this meeting, leaving him fifth in the standings.

Flores, 19, is currently fourth in the standings with 50 wins. Flores began riding Thoroughbreds last July. The current meeting at Santa Anita is the best of his brief career.

Flores was released from a local hospital at 4 a.m. on Sunday and was resting at home, according to his agent, Joe Griffin.

“He’s sore,” Griffin said. “He’ll be fine in the next couple of days. We figured it was the best thing not to ride.”