It has been a welcomed sight for many horsemen and jockeys on the backstretch of Churchill Downs as journeyman rider Miguel Mena returned on horseback after fracturing eight bones in his right ankle and heel six months ago.

“It feels great to be back on horses and here at the track each morning,” Mena said. “I’m not quite ready to get back to riding races but I hope to be ready soon. The doctors originally told me I’d be out six-to-eight months and November would be right at eight months. I feel good and my ankle is getting stronger every day.”

Mena was injured March 15 at Fair Grounds when his mount clipped heels in the stretch run of a $5,000 claiming event.

A winner of 1,844 races in his 16-year career, Mena has already breezed several horses at Churchill Downs including Risen Star (Grade II) winner and Travers (GI) third Bravazo for D. Wayne Lukas.

“It amazes me how much bigger and stronger he’s gotten since the last time I was on him,” Mena said.

The 31-year-old Peruvian hopes to return to the races in the next month.


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