SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Joel Rosario, the leading jockey in the country in both wins and purse money won, will miss six weeks, including important rides this weekend in the Travers and Pacific Classic, due to a broken left foot suffered in a spill at Saratoga on Friday.
Trainer Shug McGaughey confirmed Jose Lezcano would replace Rosario on Orb for Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes.
In addition to Orb, Rosario was scheduled to ride Game on Dude in Sunday’s Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Bob Baffert, who trains Game On Dude, said if he has “till Sunday to think about” finding a replacement.
Rosario had other key rides Saturday as well. Trainer Todd Pletcher has named Julien Leparoux to replace Rosario aboard Forty Tales in the King’s Bishop; Chad Brown said Mike Smith would ride My Happy Face in the Test; and Michael Matz has given the mount on Somali Lemonade in the Ballston Spa to Luis Saez.
On Sunday at Del Mar, Patrick Valenzuela has been named to ride Goldencents in the Grade 1 Pat O’Brien by trainer Doug O’Neill.
Rosario was injured when his mount in Friday’s seventh race, Casual Elegance, stumbled past the finish line and unseated him. Rosario told his agent Ron Anderson that the filly might have stepped on him.
Rosario met with Dr. Rick Alfred, an orthopedist and a New York Giants team physician, who was to fit Rosario with a cast.
Rosario, who won the Kentucky Derby on Orb and the Dubai World Cup on Animal Kingdom, led all jockeys in North America in wins with 237 and purse earnings with $16,713,440.