Robby Albarado, who suffered a fractured wrist when he went down in a June 23 spill at Churchill Downs, will resuming riding races on Saturday's opening-day card of the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs. Albarado has the mount on the Wayne Catalano-trained Well Spent in the $500,000 Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies.
The jockey will ride Sunday at Ellis Park. His new agent is Rocco O'Connor, who also is Ellis Park's paddock analyst. Before his injury, Albarado had Jake Romans, who now has Channing Hill and Martin Chuan.
“I'm going to ease into it,” said Albarado, a longtime fixture in Kentucky racing who was the regular rider of 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft and 2007-2008 Horse of the Year Curlin. “I'll be ready this weekend, but I want to make sure I'm really ready for when Churchill Downs starts. The wrist is good. This is the longest I've ever been out with an injury; it's been 10 weeks. And it wasn't the fracture. I had a fracture, but it healed right up after four weeks. It's the ligaments in your hand. But for the most part, it feels good.
“I got on a horse at my farm two weeks ago, galloped him a couple of days in a row and said, 'Man, I'm ready to go to the track and work horses.' And it felt good. That's all you need: to get on horses to get ready. It doesn't matter what you do at the gym or exercise therapy. There's nothing better than getting on horses.”
Albarado said the first month off wasn't bad because his wife, Paige, had given birth to their second son, Woodford Keegan, in March. Their other son, Liam, is 3.
“I got to spend some time with the kids,” he said.
Albarado was aboard for the much-anticipated debut of Albaugh Family Stables' 2-year-old colt Dennis' Moment. Shortly after the start, they were forced in tight, bumped and Dennis' Moment clipped heels and unseated Albarado. Dennis' Moment was OK, but Albarado was sent to the sidelines.
Dennis' Moment went on to win his second start at Ellis Park by 19 1/4 lengths under Miguel Mena. The colt is scheduled to run next in Churchill Downs' Sept. 14 Iroquois Stakes. Trainer Dale Romans has said that Irad Ortiz will ride Dennis' Moment in the Iroquois.
Albarado has won 5,185 races and $218 million in purses in a career that began in 1990.
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