Apprentice Garcia Hospitalized After Santa Anita Spill

Jockey Martin Garcia, one of three finalists for outstanding apprentice for 2006, remained hospitalized Monday morning, Jan. 15, following a Sunday spill at Santa Anita.

Garcia was thrown from his mount, first time starter Sweet N Salty, when the filly collapsed from exhaustion just past the finish line after the sixth race on the California track’s Sunday card. Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. was also involved in the spill as his mount, Quite a Stormkat, was unable to avoid the fallen horse, although Valdivia appeared to be uninjured during the incident. Garcia, 21, was transported to Arcadia Methodist Hospital, where he was kept overnight although x-rays of his neck and back showed no signs of injury.
According to the jockey’s agent, Roger Olgine, Garcia was hospitalized overnight for precautionary reasons.

“He hit the ground pretty hard, and he was complaining of significant pain in his back,” Olgine said. “The doctor’s preliminary x-rays came up fine, but we have to really check and make sure everything is okay since he’s in that much pain.”

Olgine said Garcia would be off his mounts for at least one week even if further investigation shows no injury.

“It’s hard to say, it all depends on how bad the pain is,” he said. “I think he’ll be off at least one week, maybe two. He’s the only one who can tell me how soon he can come back.”