Del Mar Press Release

Image Courtesy of Benoit Photo

Jockey Geovanni Franco incurred what his agent, James Giannone, described as a bruise high on his left foot in the last-race spill on Saturday. Franco, 21, a native of Mexico, was back at work Sunday morning exercising horses and was scheduled to ride four races on the afternoon program.

“He’s very fortunate, and blessed, to be able to come out of it the way he did,” Giannone said. “Something like this is tough on everyone but he’s cowboy tough. The last time he went down like this, last year at Oaklawn Park, he won two races the next day.”

Franco, in his second season at Del Mar, has eight wins from 59 mounts through the first 14 days of the meeting, placing him sixth in the rider standings.

Corey Nakatani’s injuries from the spill were more concerning and the veteran jockey, who is No. 2 all-time with 108 stakes victories at Del Mar, remained at Scripps La Jolla Hospital overnight pending further examinations of a possible back problem.

Late Sunday morning via text, Nakatani’s son and agent, Matt, reported: “Positive news! We just met with the spinal specialist and he will be released from the hospital shortly. He thankfully escaped without any major injuries, however his timetable to return to riding is uncertain.

“We will be heading back to L.A. tonight to visit with a specialist in the coming days.

“Thank you to everyone who has called/texted checking on my dad. We can’t thank you all enough for your prayers.”

Nakatani entered the meeting tied with Eddie Delahoussaye for the No. 5 spot on Del Mar’s all-time wins list and broke the deadlock with a victory in the fifth race on Friday, July 27, aboard Comes the Deam for trainer Ari Herbertson. Nakatani, 47, notched his second win of the meeting, from 20 mounts, with a masterful ride aboard Little Juanito for trainer Victor Garcia in Saturday’s sixth race.