Alex Solis

Alex Solis

Benoit Photography

Solis Nears Return to Action at Gulfstream

Jockey has been out since undergoing shoulder surgery five months ago.

Jockey Alex Solis, a finalist in this year's Hall of Fame voting, is nearing a return to action at Gulfstream Park after being sidelined for five months while recuperating from surgery on his left shoulder.

Trainer Wesley Ward named Solis to ride Rip Roarin Ritchie in Gulfstream's eighth race March 20, but the veteran jockey is unsure if he can get his doctor's approval to ride in time.

"My physical therapist said that I'm ready," said Solis during a visit to Gulfstream. "I called (the doctor) Friday, but couldn't get him. I'm going to call him (Monday). I hope to ride this week."

The Panama City-born Solis, who will turn 49 March 25, has ridden 4,938 winners. He said he injured his shoulder at Saratoga Race Course last summer.

"I hit the side of the gate and got a little tear in there," said Solis. "I noticed it for a few months, and then the doctor said I needed to have an operation. It was nothing major. It was just something that needed to be done. It's one of those surgeries that takes time to heal."

Solis, whose mounts have earned more than $230 million, is more than ready to get back in action.

"Five months was a nightmare," he said with a smile. "I feel good. I'm fresh."