Jockey Garrett Gomez aborts comeback for a week

Multiple Eclipse Award winning jockey Garrett Gomez, who fractured his left heel in a paddock mishap this past January 8, came back to ride his first race since the injury in Santa Anita’s third race on Friday and determined “there’s just too much pain” and he took off his remaining mount in the sixth race.

Gomez underwent surgery following the January 8 injury in which several screws and a plate were inserted to repair his multiple-fractured left heel. His stated goal had been to be able to come back and ride top Santa Anita and Kentucky Derby prospect Out of Bounds in Saturday’s San Felipe Stakes. Out of Bounds however, came off the Derby trail last Monday when it was discovered he had sustained a leg fracture after a workout at Hollywood Park.

“I might give it (a comeback) another week,” said Gomez. “There’s just a little more pain than I expected. It’s quick. Like I said, I’ll give it another week.”
Gomez finished fifth going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course aboard the John Sadler-trained maiden filly Miss Pippa and was limping noticeably after he dismounted.

America’s leading rider by money-won four consecutive years, 2006, ’07, ’08 and ’09, Gomez was voted the Eclipse Award as champion jockey in 2007 and ’08.
Garrett Gomez has overcome a significant amount of pain when he rode in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup.

Garrett overcame significant pain caused by a shoulder injury incurred the day before 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic, guiding Blame to an upset over the previously unbeaten Zenyatta. He is widely admired as one of the strongest finishers in racing.

This spring, Caballo Press of Ann Arbor will release his book, “The Garrett Gomez Story, A Jockey’s Journey through Addiction and Salvation” by Rudolph Alvarado with Garrett Gomez. Early buzz is that the book is a wonderful insight into Garrett’s life.

Jockey Garrett Gomez and author Rudy Alvarado will autograph books at Champions! (the gift shop at Santa Anita Park), Saturday, 4/7/2012 (Santa Anita Derby day), from 10:30 am to 11:45 am. If you can’t be there, Garrett and Rudy will be happy to autograph book for Champions! internet customers (signatures only, no personalization).

Garrett Gomez ranks as one of racing’s leading riders, a fierce competitor and an amazing horseman. His success is even more remarkable given the addictions he has fought–and defeated–throughout his career. This book, by award winning author Rudy Alvarado, chronicles Garrett’s life journey.

In the hopes that others may learn from his challenges, Garrett Gomez is donating his share of the book sales to the “Winner’s Foundation”, a California non-profit whose efforts on Garrett’s behalf brought him to recovery