Bejarano ready to return by end of the month

Rafael Bejarano, who won a record-tying six consecutive riding titles when he moved to the Southland at the tailend of 2007, hopes to make his return Friday, Aug. 28 at Del Mar after missing most of the meet following an opening-day spill.

Bejarano, the defending Del Mar riding champion who suffred major facial fractures in the spill when his mount, the 8-year-old gelding Mi Rey, broke down at the top of the stretch, will wear a protective mask when he returns, according to agent Joe Ferrer. Mi Rey had to be euthanized because of a compound fracture of the right front fetlock.

“He can’t wait to get back to riding,” Ferrer said. “He’s looking forward to his return.”

Bejarano, who had his string of riding titles snapped by Joel Rosario during the Hollywood Park spring-summer meet, will wear the protective mask for quite a while when he returns.

Bejarano and Chris McCarron are the only jockeys to win six consecutive SoCal riding titles since the Hollywood Park autumn meet began in 1981.

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