In addition to being directly involved in an equine-related tragedy at Delaware Park May 26, jockey Gabriel Saez is experiencing prolonged back pain from the accident that has since kept him from participating in his livelihood.
Saez lived through a horror story last year when his Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) mount, Eight Belles, broke down shortly after finishing second in the race and had to be euthanized.
Even though his mount in the May 26 Delaware Park race, the 4-year-old filly Chanceofshowers, didn’t carry as high of a profile as Eight Belles, she experienced the same fate due to a leg fracture she sustained upon colliding with Untuttable Gal and jockey Ricardo Chiappe. Chanceofshowers was sent to University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center for a post mortem examination, and results are still pending.
Now, in the aftermath of the incident, Saez, 21, is still feeling the effects of the scary spill.
“He’s (being monitored) day-to-day, and I don’t want to push him, because those types of injuries are sneaky, and I want to be safe rather than sorry,” said Saez’ agent, Ruben Munoz. “He’s very, very sore…muscle-wise, in his arms, and the middle of his upper back.”
Munoz said a CAT scan revealed Saez had no concussion or internal bleeding from the incident, however, he will still be examined by a spinal specialist before he is cleared to ride again.
“We don’t want to aggravate something we’re unaware of,” said Munoz. “So we’re taking our time, and we’re not rushing, because he’s young, and those are the types of injuries that come back and haunt you. We just want to be safe…I don’t want it to end up being worse than it is.”
Munoz said while Saez has not ridden since the collision, he has been up and about, performing daily chores. If Saez’ spinal exam comes back clean and his level of soreness goes down, Munoz said he may be back in the saddle at Delaware Park as early as June 6.