03/27/2012 11:40AM

Santa Anita: Espinoza out with broken hand, will miss Santa Anita Derby

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Shigeki Kikkawa
With Victor Espinoza out of action, Midnight Transfer will need a replacement rider for the Santa Anita Derby.

Jockey Victor Espinoza will be sidelined until mid-April after suffering a hairline fracture to a bone in his left hand in a spill last Friday, his agent, Brad Pegram, said on Tuesday.

Espinoza had a cast placed on the hand on Monday by Dr. James Tibone, a noted Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon who works closely with the region’s jockeys. Espinoza did not ride on Saturday or Sunday.

“He’ll have a cast on it for two weeks,” Pegram said. “They said after 14 days, they’ll take it off and then we’ll go from there.

“Tibone thought it was the best way to have it heal.”

Pegram said that Espinoza is likely to return to riding by the final week of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, which ends on April 22.

Espinoza was injured when he was unseated from That’s Dangerous in the Pasadena Stakes. That’s Dangerous broke down badly entering the stretch of the one-mile turf race.

The injury means that Espinoza will miss the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 7. He was booked to ride Midnight Transfer in that race, the leading California prep for the Kentucky Derby on May 5. Trainer Carla Gaines said on Tuesday that a replacement rider has not been finalized.

Through Sunday, Espinoza ranked sixth in the jockey’s standings at Santa Anita with 27 wins, two of which were stakes.

Scott Iversen More than 1 year ago
Getting Mike Smith to ride is unbelievable. I would have thought that he was already taken for the Santa Anita Derby. If he is on a horse in a huge race watch out. In big races his horses have proven to be live. This horse has a huge future. Probably best horse Carla Gaines has ever trained.
kenneth More than 1 year ago
Buena suerte, Victor, y que te sanes pronto. I'm one of your biggest fans and still remember your win in the Malibu on Southern Image.
Stan More than 1 year ago
Suki - Why not give Kayla Stra a chance. She is the best longshot jockey !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get the all time leading rider to come down and school these jocks Carla!
Glenn Canady More than 1 year ago
How about Russell Baze.. He needs a good horse to ride.
Ron Jacobson More than 1 year ago
How about Joe Talamo?
Ron Jacobson More than 1 year ago
How about Joe Talamo?
Scott Iversen More than 1 year ago
The perfect replacement would be Garret Gomez. Because of his ankle injury he is now just coming back to riding. Very unfortunate for Victor. This is a really nice colt who looks like has huge upside potential. The only question will be if the distance of 1 1/4 miles is too much. He seems scary to me.
Riposte More than 1 year ago
"Trainer Carla Gaines said on Tuesday that a replacement rider has not been finalized." DRF: Can this be re-written, in English?
Riposte More than 1 year ago
A cruel act of fate to the winner of the 2002 Kentucky Derby, on War Emblem. Victor, get well. You're a good man, who has contributed much to the positive side of racing history.