The absence of top jockey Garrett Gomez at Santa Anita for an
anticipated four to six weeks as a result of an accident prior to
Sunday’s Grade III Daytona Stakes will unquestionably have an impact on
the local riding colony.
The 40-year-old Gomez, who was off to a flying start with six
stakes wins through the first 10 days of the meet, was undergoing
surgery Thursday afternoon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los
Angeles for a broken left heel, according to his agent, Tony Matos.
Gomez suffered the injury when his mount, Silver Summation,
unseated him before flipping over backward en route to the race track
after he was given a leg up in the walking ring prior to the Daytona
Among the stakes wins by Gomez was the Sham aboard Out of Bounds.
The Tucson native had been named to ride Citation Handicap winner
Jeranimo, the favorite in Monday’s Grade II San Gabriel Stakes. He was
replaced by Martin Garcia.
“Like always, it’s the trickle-down theory,” said Richie
Silverstein, agent for Martin Pedroza and Kayla Stra. “Garrett is the
third-leading rider (at the meet), he’s got tremendous stakes business,
and in the famous words of the late (agent) Bill Barisoff, ‘One man’s
loss is another man’s gain.’
“Everybody below him moves up one. But to Garrett’s credit, when
he does come back, his business should still be there. When you’re
among the top jocks, like him, (Rafael) Bejarano, (Joel) Rosario and
possibly (Victor) Espinoza, you don’t lose business like some of the
riders in the second tier.”