Jockey Santana Recovers From Spiders Bite

(from Pimlico notes))
What started out as simple spiders bite on the inside of his lower left leg turned into a life-threatening situation for Jozbin Santana. But after nearly a month of battling, the 25-year old rider has returned to race at Pimlico.

"I feel better now," said Santana, who ranks fifth with 114 victories at the major Maryland tracks this year. "The bite got infected and the bacteria was hard to kill. They had to watch it very closely and had to dig the abscess out. I spent four days in the hospital after the surgery."

Santana was having a career year before the setback with 127 wins and earnings of $2.5 million. Last year he ranked in the top 100 nationally when he set career-highs in victories (128 victories) and earnings ($2.7 million).

"I was doing well and all of a sudden this happened out of the blue, not even at the track," said Santana, who rides first call for Richard Small. "But thank God everything is fine."

Santana began riding in Maryland as an apprentice in 1998 and has been a top ten rider since 2002.