Both jockey Calvin Borel and his longtime agent Jerry Hissam are recovering—one from injury and one from illness—as the three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) sits one away from 5,000 career victories.
Borel, 46, broke a bone in his left wrist three days before he was set to go for that milestone win on opening day at Oaklawn Park Jan. 11. Hissam was hospitalized the next day with pancreatitis, which comes after open-heart and gall bladder surgery last month.
With his wrist in a cast, Borel was back on the Oaklawn backstretch greeting fellow horsemen the morning of Jan. 16. He said his recovery is progressing well and his doctors believe he can get back to work in 14 days.
"I tell you, I never thought that I had broken it," said Borel, who hurt his wrist in an incident leaving from the starting gate Jan. 8. "The filly I was on flipped and then she brushed the horse next to her. It didn't even hurt but we put ice on it, and didn't really swell up until after we left for home. I was getting ready to go fishing and I went to pick up a ladder and that's when I heard a pop. It's just a little bitty bone, but it swelled up so fast."
Borel said Hissam had told him he was hoping to check out of Mercy Hospital in Hot Springs, Ark. Jan. 15 and that he was feeling better, but that doctors wanted to wait one more day before releasing him. According to Borel, he will be on long-term antibiotics during his recovery.
When Borel does get the go-ahead to resume his quest for 5,000 wins, Oaklawn will be prepared to distribute commemorative trading cards sponsored by the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau to all fans in attendance when he gets the milestone victory.