2012 Kentucky Derby/Oaks mounts for Garrett Gomez and a new book!

Jockey Garrett Gomez

The New Year started off well for two-time Eclipse Award winner Garrett Gomez. He was having a phenomenal meet at Santa Anita Park with six stakes victories in the first 10 days of the meet. Garrett ranked second in the nation in earnings, with $380,380 won in the first eight days of 2012. It was looking like his Kentucky Derby horse would be Out of Bounds.

Then on January 8th his mount, Silver Summation, flipped over on the walkway from the paddock to the track before the eighth race at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. On January 12th, Garrett had surgery on his left heel. Garrett Gomez’s agent, Tony Matos said, “He will have the surgery on Thursday and be out from four to six weeks.” During that time, Garrett’s Kentucky Derby mount, Out of Bounds was injured and would need until after the Derby to recover.

Six weeks turned into 8 weeks and after riding in one race, Garrett determined “there’s just too much pain” and he took off his remaining mount that day. But it really did not take him long to start riding and winning. He won his first race since his surgery on March 24 (less than three months after surgery).

This week it was announced that Garrett will ride Bob and Cathy Zollars Daddy Nose Best in the May 5th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Daddy Nose Best is already at Churchill Downs. Trainer Steve Asmussen watched him work Friday and said, “I thought it was a great work, he went over the track really well and I’m glad we were able to get the work in before the rain hit.”

On Friday, it was announced that Garrett will ride Summer Applause in the 2012 Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 4th at Churchill Downs. Summer Applause had a record of 2-2-0 in four starts at the Fair Grounds meet. Summer Applause had been ridden by Robby Albarado in all four of those starts.

In talking about Garrett, trainer Dennis ‘Peaches’ Geier said, “When he’s healthy he’s one of the top-two riders in the country.”

“We’re starting to get excited,” Geier said. “She has a legitimate chance to win.” Geier said Summer Applause will have her final work prior to the Oaks next Friday.

Looks like Garrett will be looking for Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby tickets for his family and friends.

There is more exciting news in May for Garrett. His book, ‘The Garrett Gomez Story: A Jockey’s Journey Through Addiction & Salvation’ written with Rudy Alvarado of Caballo Press will be published. Both Rudy and Garrett will be in Louisville during Derby week and are going to sign copies of the book at the Kentucky Derby Museum on May 3. Kentucky Derby Tours is pleased to have Mr. Alvarado attending some of our events and we all look forward to seeing the new book!