Garrett Gomez

Garrett Gomez

Anne M. Eberhardt

Garrett Gomez Expected to Return Dec. 29

Banged up in a fall on the Santa Anita turf Dec. 27, he suffered only minor injuries.

Edited Santa Anita press release

Jockey Garrett Gomez is expected to return to riding Dec. 29 following a nasty fall on the turf course at Santa Anita Park two days earlier.

Gomez, en route to his third consecutive national money title, lost several upper front teeth, suffered a gash on his left knee that didn't require sutures, and a swollen left hand after the 2-year-old colt Back At You veered in during the stretch run of the Eddie Logan Stakes Dec. 27. Back At You hit the rail, unseating Gomez.

Gomez was removed from the track by stretcher and taken to Arcadia Methodist Hospital, where he was released last night after being treated.

“Garrett told me not to turn anything (potential mounts) loose,” agent Ron Anderson said on the morning of Dec. 28. “I feel very optimistic.”

Gomez,  who turns 37 on New Year’s Day, was excused from his seven mounts, but remained on his five scheduled mounts for Dec. 29. Anderson was confident Gomez could honor those assignments.

“There’s better than a good chance he could ride tomorrow,” Anderson said. “Amazing as it seems, there was even a small chance he could have ridden today. He’s tougher than I don’t-know-what.”

Through Saturday, Gomez was $109,014 short of Jerry Bailey’s 2003 record of $23,354,960 for purse earnings in one year.

“In the realm of everything,” Anderson said, “at this point, who cares (about the record)? I think we dodged a bullet and I feel very fortunate that Garrett’s going to be OK.”