By Claire Novack
Apprentice jockey Martin Garcia was released from California's Stanford Hospital Tuesday and could begin riding as early as Oct. 3, according to Dr. David Seftel, track physician at Bay Meadows.
Garcia sustained a severe concussion and a bruised nose in the sixth race at the California oval Sept. 23 when his mount, Cruz'n Memo, stumbled and fell at the far turn. He was transported to Stanford Hospital via ambulance and spent two days in intensive care before doctors changed his status.
"He improved greatly over Sunday and Monday, and he's being discharged today," said Dr. Seftel. "Thankfully he hasn't sustained any neurological or brain damage. The important thing with this kind of injury is to continue regular evaluations, because additional swelling is always possible. We'll keep him under observation, and he'll undergo another set of complete neurological tests tomorrow. He could resume riding as early as next week."
"I feel good," Garcia said. "I can't wait to get back to racing."
A native of Vera Cruz, Mexico, Garcia began racing in California last month, winning the first race of his career on Aug.17 during the San Mateo County Fair meet. Through Tuesday, Garcia remained third in jockey standings (17-10-9 from 62 starts) at the Bay Meadows fall meet, which opened Aug. 28th.