Edited Del Mar Report
Rafael Bejarano, who sustained serious facial injuries in a spill July 22 during the third race on Del Mar’s opening-day program, was reported to be doing well at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla July 23 by his agent, Joe Ferrer.
“He’s beginning to heal and he is expected to be released from the hospital Friday,” Ferrer said. “There’s no timetable on when he might be completely healed, but the doctors tell me facial bones heal faster than any of the other bones in the body.”
Ferrer said Bejarano underwent surgery early July 23 for multiple facial fractures, including a broken jaw, cheek, and nose. He said the fractured jaw was not as serious as first thought and it wasn’t necessary to wire his jaw shut, as is often the case with such an injury. He will be able to eat soft food.
As for a return to action, Ferrer said it will all depend on the healing process. However, he said he was told by doctors that when the pain and the swelling in his face go away he could ride with a mask, much as basketball players do with similar injuries.
Bejarano was injured when the horse he was riding, Mi Rey, fractured his right leg and unseated the rider. After he hit the ground, Bejarano was struck by a trailing horse.
Bejarano won the 2008 Del Mar riding title and at present is the nation’s fourth leading rider in money won for 2009.