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Bejarano Back in Groove at Del Mar

Rafael Bejarano’s victory on Brilliant Melody in Wednesday’s second race extended a streak of at least one win per card to five and moved the two-time defending meet riding champion to within one of the lead in the jockey standings. Bejarano made his comeback on opening day from two months away while healing a fractured clavicle and four broken ribs from a spill at Santa Anita. He has 12 wins, seven of them in the last five racing days. Kent Desormeaux and Elvis Trujillo are co-leaders with 13 each.

“I’m surprised that he’s having such a good meet,” Joe Ferrer, Bejarano’s agent said. “When you’re off two months, you lose so much business. I don’t care who you are or how many titles you’ve won.

“You’re out a month, the horses run once. You’re off two months, they run twice and usually if they run twice you lose them. If they don’t win the first time, the live horses are going to win the second time and those riders get to get on them one more time. Plus it’s a short meet here, so the riders that won on them the last time get the call again. If I’m lucky, I might get to pick up the second time they run here.

“So I’m pleasantly surprised at how he’s done.”       


Jockey Tyler Baze, whose next victory will be career milestone No. 2000, has five scheduled mounts on Thursday’s card. They are: City Ride (1st, 5-2), Cousin Ricky (4th, 6-1), Uncle Dave (6th, 20-1), Tribal Gal (7th, 5-1), Onebadshenanigan (8th, 12-1).


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