Amazingly, Garrett Gomez returned to action Monday, less than 48 hours after that scary spill he was involved in Saturday during the Eddie Logan Stakes at Santa Anita. He rode four horses, earning $29,560 for two wins, a fourth and a last-place finish. His fifth scheduled mount in the seventh race was scratched.
He goes into Wednesday’s final card of 2008 just $79,454 shy of Jerry Bailey’s North American record for single-season earnings. Problem is, he’s got only four mounts to pick up the necessary purse money. In order to pass Bailey, he needs to win the $70,000 Kalookan Queen Handicap aboard Baroness Thatcher and a $56,000 allowance race in which he rides Kyniska. He then must finish at least second in a $25,000 starter allowance or third in the starter allowance and at least second in the $10,000 claimer he’ll ride in. Not impossible, and the courageous manner in which Gomez came back so soon after a scary fall makes you want to root for him to do it.
I think he’ll come up short, but all bets are off for 2009. With a little luck, he’ll be back threatening the record again and just might get it.