Solis Out for 3 Months With Vertebra Break

Jockey Alex Solis will be sidelined for at least the next three months after suffering a fractured vertebra in a spill in Friday's third race at Del Mar.

The 40-year-old rider was aboard Golden K K for trainer Dean Greenman when she clipped heels and fell along the rail at the top of the stretch.

"He fractured the C-5 vertebra," Solis' agent, Scott McClellan. "He cracked the front of it and crushed the back of it, plus he broke a couple ribs. We're getting second and third and fourth opinions about whether he should have surgery, but it looks like that's what will happen."

Solis was aboard Golden K K just past the eighth pole in the one-mile dirt race when the filly steadied sharply and clipped heels in tight quarters along the rail. He remained motionless until paramedics arrived and was placed onto a backboard and affixed with a neck brace before being taken to nearby Scripps Hospital in La Jolla. He has since undergone extensive testing to determine the best course of treatment, McClellan said.

The horse was not injured.

"The doctors and I agree that surgery is probably the best option now," McClellan said. "He's in a tremendous amount of pain and is exhausted because he wasn't able to get much sleep, but otherwise he's fine. He'll be out a little while, but it could have been a lot worse and we're grateful it wasn't."

Solis, who has won six Southern California riding titles, most recently finished fourth in the Hollywood Park jockey standings with 40 victories. He won aboard two of eight mounts through the first three days of Del Mar.

He is the regular rider for Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) hero Pleasantly Perfect, who is scheduled to race for the first time since winning the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba in the Aug. 22 Pacific Classic (gr. I).

The Panamanian-born Solis had won $11.5 million in purse money so far this year.

Most Popular Stories