Jockey injured on Opening Day has successful surgery

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Rafael Bejarano

Rafael Bejarano

Veteran jockey Rafael Bejarano is recovering from successful surgery after suffering major injuries last week at Del Mar racetrack’s Opening Day.

Bejarano underwent surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla for multiple facial fractures which, according to his agent Joe Ferrer, included a broken jaw, cheek, and nose. While doctors haven’t specified a recovery time for Bejarano, Ferrer said that the jockey will hopefully be back to riding in two or three weeks. According to Ferrer, Bejarano’s recovery and return depends on his healing process, and he can ride with a protective face mask as soon as the pain and swelling go away.

Bejarano was injured in the third race last Wednesday, when his mount Mi Rey broke down after fracturing its right leg. Bejarano fell off the horse, and was clipped by another horse. Bejarano was taken to Scripps, and Mi Rey was euthanized on the track due to the severity of his injuries.

The Peruvian-born Bejarano won the  Del Mar riding title last year, and just registered his 2,000th career win at Hollywood Park on July 9th. He is reported to be the nation’s fourth-leading rider in earnings.

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