Day Opts to Delay Return to Races

(from Churchill Downs report)
Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day's return to competition following hip surgery will be delayed for a few more days.

Friday, Day resumed the morning workout routine he began this week. He was named on three mounts Saturday.

But after the 51-year-old Colorado native worked a horse for trainer Bobby Frankel Friday, he said that he would take off of those mounts and delay his return to competition for a few more days.

"The hip is feeling good and the air is good, but my legs were just a little weak," said Day. "I worked a couple here yesterday and they were shaking a little bit, and that was just working. So I've kind of put off starting over the weekend. I think we can be good to go by Wednesday, unless we back up a lot."

Day underwent surgery to repair damage to cartilage that lines his right hip on March 30 at Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo. He received approval from his surgeon, Dr. Marc Philippon, to return to the saddle before the Kentucky Derby, but Day elected to take a conservative path in his return to competition. Day has ridden sparingly since the end of the 2004 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs and most recently was in the saddle on the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) racing program on March 5 at Gulfstream Park.

Day said his muscles felt better on Friday than they had a day earlier - but still were not good enough to allow his best effort in a race.

"I think if we focus on strengthening the legs, we'll be all right," he said. "We've done pretty good keeping the wind and we're certainly working on the hip. All of that's good. Now, we just need to get a little endurance in the legs and we'll be good to go."

Day plans to be back at the track on Saturday morning to work horses and continue to build his fitness. Entries for Wednesday's races will be taken on Sunday.