Bejarano Sidelined Until Late August After Undergoing Surgical Procedure

Rafael Bejarano, whose return to Kentucky after a dozen years in Southern California has dramatically revived his riding career, will be sidelined until Aug. 28, after undergoing surgery, according to a report in Daily Racing Form.

Bejarano, 38, had the procedure done at a Louisville hospital to have a small, non-malignant growth removed from his pancreas, according to the report.

Currently leading jockey at Ellis Park with 18 wins, the native of Peru had experienced some discomfort in his side, his agent, Julio Espinoza, told DRF.

“Thankfully, he’s going to be fine,” said Espinoza, who added that Bejarano is resting at home post-surgery and may be back in time to ride the last few days of the Ellis meet.

Bejarano’s career took off shortly after coming to the U.S. in 2002, riding at River Downs near Cincinnati initially and then shifting to the Kentucky circuit before moving his tack to Southern California in 2007. He won a career high 455 races in 2004 and had mount earnings in excess of $17 million in 2012  – his best earnings year. His production has tailed off in recent years as Southern California field size and race days declined, dipping under 100 wins for the first time in both 2018 and ’19.


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