By Bill Finley
Injured an in Aug. 23 spill at Saratoga in the John's Call S. in which he fractured left wrist and dislocated his right collar bone, jockey Luis Saez has made rapid progress and will be ready to ride on opening day of the Keeneland fall meet on Oct. 6, reports his agent Kiaran McLaughlin.
“He's doing real well,” McLaughlin said. “There's no pain and he's doing physical therapy. He will be X-rayed in a few days. He'll be back for sure for beginning of Keeneland, if not a week before. He might ride a couple in Florida because he's down there.”
With 30 winners already at the meet, Saez was injured just three days before he was to ride GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage (Good Magic) in the GI Travers S. Saez was taken by ambulance to Albany Medical Center. According to McLaughlin, the doctors there told him he would not need surgery. The next day, Saez went to the Bone & Joint Center in Saratoga for a second opinion and was advised to have surgery.
“The night we went to the Albany Medical Center, three doctors were there and they told me surgery was not required,” McLaughlin said. “They said he had a hairline fracture that would heal in a few weeks and his collarbone will go back in place. It was dislocated but will settle back down. That's when I told people he didn't need surgery. The next morning we went to the Bone & and Joint Center at Saratoga and they said that he was a professional athlete and, therefore, they decided to put a little screw in his wrist and button back his collar bone to put it back in place. They put a button on top and on the bottom. All three things stayed there. They'll never come out.”
Original estimates were that he would be out three to five weeks.
During his downtime, Saez spent time at his home in Florida with his family.
“His mental outlook has been great,” he said. “He's at home with his wife and three daughters and he loves that, loves being with them.”
Saez won last year's Keeneland fall meet by a 21-20 margin over Tyler Gaffalione. McLaughlin is optimistic that his client will have another big meet.
“He's in good shape,” McLaughlin said. “His weight is good. He's very strong. Everything has gone well so far. Can we pick up where we left off? A lot of that falls on the agent. Hopefully, we will have some nice mounts starting back and good support from the people in Kentucky. We already have some stakes mounts.”