Photo: Benoit Photo
Victor Espinoza could resume his riding career next month after recovering from serious injuries in a training mishap at Del Mar last July 22.
“He says everything is going well, he’s just working on his fitness, he wants to test ride a couple horses around the first of the year, and if things go well, he’s looking at maybe the middle of January (to be back in the saddle competitively).”
Espinoza, a Hall of Fame jockey, fractured a vertebra in his neck when stakes winner Bobby Abu Dhabi broke out during a workout. It was the worst career injury for the rider recognized most for his 2015 Triple Crown sweep aboard American Pharoah.
Santa Anita’s meet begins Dec. 26.
Finish Lines: Trainer Bob Baffert said undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Game Winner “is in light training” with no race announced for his three-year-old debut . . . The California Horse Racing Board has assigned Grant Baker, Kim Sawyer and Luis Jauregui as Santa Anita’s stewards this meet, with Ron Church as safety steward.