Kentucky Derby winning jockey Joel Rosario is in the early stages of his recovery from a broken foot, but is upbeat about his return. The rider suffered a broken left foot during a race Friday at Saratoga Race Course.
Rosario was aboard Casual Elegance in the seventh race and took a spill after the horse stumbled to a last-place finish. He did not ride for the remainder of the card. The nation's leading jockey in wins and purse money, Rosario will be sidelined for six weeks.
"He was having such a monumental season," the jockey's agent Ron Anderson said. "It was shocking to both of us because it was one of those falls that you didn't think looked that bad. But when you get kicked or stepped on ... it could have been worse if it was in a different place. His spirits are OK. It's part of the game."
The injury forced two very important jockey changes for the weekend.
Saturday in the Travers, Kentucky Derby winner Orb was ridden by Jose Lezcano and finished third behind Will Take Charge. For Sunday's Pacific Classic, program favorite Game On Dude's mount was taken by Martin Garcia at Del Mar. Rosario was set to fill in for Mike Smith on Game On Dude because Smith had the mount at Saratoga to ride champion female Royal Delta in the $600,000 Personal Ensign Invitational.