Injured jockey Eibar Coa returned to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle
on closing day April 24 and presented Paco Lopez with a trophy to
commemorate his second straight riding title.
It was an emotional and exciting return for Coa, who broke his C-4
vertebra in a racing spill on Feb. 18. Diagnosed by doctors as a
quadriplegic after being admitted to Memorial Regional Hospital in
Hollywood, Coa made a recovery that was deemed “miraculous” by
neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Berta. The 40-year-old veteran rider, who was
released from the hospital on April 14, was able to walk into the
winner’s circle for the trophy presentation as well as receive a check
of $25,000 from a benefit golf tournament.