Edwin Maldonado is back.
The 34-year-old Ohio native won his first race Sunday at Santa Anita since recovering from painful injuries suffered more than four months ago in a morning accident at Del Mar Sept. 4.
Maldonado piloted first-time starter Pomp and Party to a 3 ½-length victory in Sunday's second race for owner/breeder H & E Ranch Inc. and trainer Phil D'Amato.
A three-year-old chestnut filly sired in Arizona by the Pulpit stallion Parading, Pomp and Party paid $3.40 as the no-secret favorite.
Maldonado suffered six broken ribs and a collapsed lung in the mishap, but said he was “like a little kid” as he neared his return.
“That was the ice-breaker,” said his agent, Joe Griffin, who has represented Maldonado in the past. “Edwin was tickled to death to win. The horse had been working well and he liked him, so things are looking good.”
Added D'Amato: “When he's on his game, Edwin is as good as any rider out here. He's come back, he looks focused, he always looks good on horses, they run for him, and hopefully we'll put him on some more winners.”
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