Jockey Rafael Bejarano, sidelined at least six weeks.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano, sidelined at least six weeks.

Horse Photos/NTRA

Injured Bejarano Sidelined for at Least Six Weeks

By Claire E. Novak
Jockey Rafael Bejarano, who ranks among the top riders by earnings this year, will miss at least six weeks of competition as a result of a fractured ankle suffered in a gate accident prior to Monday's fifth race at Saratoga.

The fracture was detected Tuesday morning when an MRI was conducted to determine the extent of the injury to his right ankle.

"They put him in a cast, which he'll wear four to six weeks," said Bejarano's agent, Jose Ferrer. "Then they'll probably put a different one on for ten to fourteen days."

Bejarano was injured when his mount, the Ed Kenneally-trained filly Sadler's Charm, reared and flipped in the gate. "She was restless, so the assistant starter took hold of her and everything was okay," Bejarano said. "She was quieting down a little, but in the back, somebody pulled on her tail. She got very nervous; she just reared up and flipped over."

Assistant starters removed the horse and rider from the gate, and Bejarano was transported via ambulance to nearby Saratoga Hospital.

"This is such a good kid, such a talented rider," said racetrack chaplain Humberto Chavez. "His first question when we got to the hospital was 'What happened to my horse? Is she okay?'"

"We're going to take every action necessary to get him back one hundred percent," the jockey's agent said.