Rafael Bejarano, sidelined since opening day at Del Mar after suffering several facial fractures in a spill during the third race, worked two horses Saturday morning as he returned to action a day earlier than expected.
Bejarano, who won six consecutive Southland meets before Joel Rosario ended the string at the Hollywood Park spring-summer meet, has been fitted with a special protective mask he will wear during the races. He does now wear the mask during workouts.
“I feel good and it was good to be back up on horses,” said Bejarano, who expects to begin riding in the afternoons this coming Friday.
Bejarano, who said he’ll wear the mask during live racing because there is more of a danger of being hit by debris in the afternoons, underwent surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla after the accident and remained hospitalized for several days.
* Tiago, idle since a third-place finish in the Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap on Feb. 8 at Santa Anita, will make his grass debut in Wednesday’s $85,000 Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at 1 1/16 miles over Del Mar’s Jimmy Durante Turf Course..
The 5-year-old son of Pleasant Tap, who won the 2007 Santa Anita Derby, will face a field of nine, headed by Becrux, who has more than $1 million in earnings on the turf. Also entered is Wordly, who has earned $308,363 in turf races and won the 2007 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar via DQ and finished third in the Del Mar Derby that year. He’s winless in his past eight starts.
* Tres Borrachos, a 4-year-old gelded son of Ecton Park who was second to Rail Trip in the Hollywood Gold Cup, is still on track for the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Sept. 6, according to trainer Beau Greely.
Greely, who saddled 11-1 long shot Borrego for a victory in the 2005 Pacific Classic, plans to work Tres Borrachos on Sunday at Santa Anita and then drill him a week from Monday at Del Mar.
Three other Pacific Classic hopefuls — Rail Trip, Mast Track and Song of Navarone — are scheduled to drill Sunday morning.