Ron Anderson, Garrett Gomez’s agent, told me Saturday night that his client was pretty banged up after a serious spill earlier in the day and that he figured Gomez would have to take a couple of days off. Well, after taking Sunday off, Gomez was still listed on all five of his scheduled mounts for Monday.
“Garrett told me not to turn anything (potential mounts) loose,” Anderson told Santa Anita official Ed Golden on Sunday morning. “I feel very optimistic. There’s better than a good chance he could ride (Monday). Amazing as it seems, there was even a small chance he could have ridden (Sunday). He’s tougher than I don’t-know-what.”
Gomez was injured in Saturday’s seventh race, the Eddie Logan Stakes, when his mount, Back At You, veered in during the stretch run and unseated the jockey, who turns 37 on New Year’s Day. Taken to Arcadia Methodist Hospital, he had only a swollen left hand, a gash on his left knee and three missing front teeth. He was very, very fortunate.
There’s still an outside chance Gomez could break Jerry Bailey’s North American record for single-season earnings. He’s $109,014 shy of the mark, set in 2003 when Anderson was Bailey’s agent. He could get there, but even if he returns today, he’s got only two days (Wednesday is the final racing day of 2008) to surpass Bailey’s record of $23,354,960.
“In the realm of everything,” Anderson said, “at this point, who cares (about the record)? I think we dodged a bullet and I feel very fortunate that Garrett’s going to be OK.”