Bejarano injury puts M. Baze on Georgie Boy
ARCADIA, Calif. -- Jockey Rafael Bejarano will be out between two and four weeks with small fractures in two vertebrae in his back, which resulted from an accident in the final race on Thursday at Santa Anita, his agent, Joe Ferrer, said Friday.
One of the mounts Bejarano will have to forfeit while he recovers is Georgie Boy, the morning-line favorite, in the Grade 2, $200,000 San Felipe Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita.
Michael Baze was named on Friday to replace Bejarano by Georgie Boy's trainer, Kathy Walsh.
Bejarano, the leading rider at the meet with 60 victories, was thrown hard to the ground when his mount Parisian Art, a $32,000 maiden-claimer trained by Doug O'Neill and making his second career start, collapsed at the eighth pole and died of an apparent heart attack. Parisian Art was trailing the field and was being eased by Bejarano when he went down. Bejarano landed head first. Although he was able to move his arms and legs, Bejarano did not stand or sit up, and was removed from the track on a stretcher.
Bejarano was first taken to Arcadia Methodist Hospital, where X-rays were taken. He was released shortly after midnight on Friday morning, according to Santa Anita's publicity department.
Bejarano was examined on Friday morning by Dr. Dan Capen, a noted orthopedic specialist who is also a prominent horse owner. Capen's best current runner is Ever A Friend, the winner of the Kilroe Mile, whom Capen owns in partnership.
According to Ferrer, Capen put Bejarano in a back brace, but said the injury was not as serious as it could have been.
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