Garrett Gomes hopes to ride in San Felipe Stakes March 10

Garrett Gomez

Garrett Gomez

Jockey Garrett Gomez is looking forward to riding Out of Bounds in the San Felipe Stakes on March 10 at Santa Anita Park. Gomez has been recovering from an injury to his heel that required surgery. The injury happened on January 8th when he was thrown by a horse leaving the walking ring prior to the Daytona Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Stitches were removed from his heel on February 8th and he came to Santa Anita Park on February 12 saying that the removal of the stitches gave him more freedom of movement.

“I started pedaling a (stationary) bike and I’m up to eight miles already,” Gomez said. “I swam a little in the pool yesterday for the first time and lifted weights for my legs, my thighs and my calves to build up muscle, because when they do surgery, your muscles tend to atrophy. So I have to build up the muscles.

“I’m able to get up on my feet and stand without crutches,” Gomez added. “Now it’s just a matter of making sure the injury heals and not overdoing what I’m doing, yet still do enough to improve the range of motion.” Gomez said he is concentrating on the future.

“I can’t look back at what I lost,” he said. “It’s a matter of looking to the future and how fast I can come back. I’m trying to make sure I’m back in time for Out of Bounds to run. I want to have 3-year-old options to try and reach my ultimate goal of winning the Kentucky Derby.”

Garrett Gomez is one of four jockeys who are finalists on this year’s ballot for election to racing’s Hall of Fame. Other finalists are: Calvin Borel, Alex Solis and John Velazquez.

The San Felipe Stakes is shaping up as a great 2012 Kentucky Derby prep race as well as a prep race for the Santa Anita Derby on April 7 with $750,000 in purse money which will count as money earned to get into the 2012 Kentucky Derby.

Out of Bounds will be making his first start in two months, but trainer Eoin Harty is showing patience. Out of Bounds made his first start last October 22, broke his maiden December 10, then won the Sham Stakes on January 7.

“I just want to get to the (2012 Kentucky) Derby with him (on May 5),” Harty said when explaining his regimen, “and I want to make sure I get him there in the best shape possible. I figured this was the best way to do it.” If all goes well in the San Felipe, Harty plans to run Out of Bounds in the Santa Anita Derby prior to the 2012 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Despite a strong lineup looming for the San Felipe, Harty is content with Out of Bounds. “I wouldn’t change places with anybody right now,” the native of Dublin said.

Probable for the San Felipe: Fed Biz, Out of Bounds, Empire Way, Rousing Sermon, Liaison, Midnight Transfer, Blingo, American Act and Hometown Hero. Next weekend will have more folks wanting to be on the Kentucky Derby Tours and looking for 2012 Kentucky Derby tickets.