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Jul 24, 2009

Report: Rafael Bejarano undergoes surgery


Del Mar, CA (Sports Network) - Reports out of San Diego indicate that veteran jockey Rafael Bejerano underwent successful surgery early Thursday morning for facial fractures suffered during a racing accident Wednesday at Del Mar.

The accident happened during the running of the third race on Del Mar's opening day. Bejarano was aboard Mi Rey when the horse broke down in the stretch sending the rider to the ground, suffering multiple facial injuries.

Bejarano was taken to nearby Scripps Hospital and was initially listed in "fair" condition. Mi Rey was euthanized due to the severity of the injury to his right front leg.

Trainer Gary Stute, who uses Bejarano on three-year-old colt Papa Clem, told Monmouth Park officials that the rider may resume racing in just a few weeks. Bejarano was aboard Papa Clem in April for the colt's Arkansas Derby victory.

"His agent (Joe Ferrer) told me that Rafael probably could ride in a couple of weeks wearing one of those cages that covers the face," Stute said. "He didn't have any other fractures, which is great. He's such a good guy, I hope he recovers quickly."

Through Wednesday, Bejarano has 2009 earnings of $8,286,499 with 166 wins from 762 mounts. He registered his 2,000th career victory on July 9 at Hollywood Park on Good Time Sally.

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