Jockey Jose Lezcano will be back in the saddle on Thursday at Belmont Park after recovering from shoulder and knee surgery which kept him out of action for nearly three full months.
The 36-year-old Lezcano has not ridden since January 31 at Aqueduct and has been named aboard two horses on Thursday’s nine-race card for trainer Brad Cox.
The 2019 Belmont spring/summer meet leading rider will pilot graded-stakes placed Caldee for Shortleaf Stable in a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming race over the Widener turf course in Race 5, as well as Anstu Stables’ stakes-placed Kinenos, who is entered in a 10-furlong second-level optional claiming tilt over the inner turf in Race 8.
Agent Jason Beides said Lezcano has been working horses at Belmont for Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey and Jorge Abreu.
“He’s going good and working really hard,” said Beides. “He can’t wait to get back and ride. It’s been tough keeping him on the ground. A shoulder is a tough injury but he stays in good shape, so that’s good.”
Jockeys Junior Alvarado and Pablo Fragoso, who were unseated in the eighth race on Opening Day on Thursday at Belmont, are both on the sidelines.
The 34-year-old Alvarado, who was unseated by Sport Model, was evaluated at hospital Thursday. Agent Mike Sellitto reported that all tests and scans were negative. Alvarado was discharged that evening and will visit a specialist later this week for further guidance on his expected return.
Fragoso reported that he had fractured his right wrist, incurred a mild concussion, and lost two teeth after being unseated by Sailor’s Treasure. Fragoso will also seek further specialist advice this week.
Manny Franco, who was unseated by Undetectable in the same spill, was cleared by EMS immediately following and rode the winner, Kavod, in Friday’s opening race at Belmont.
Dylan Davis, who broke his collarbone in a fall on March 20 at Aqueduct Racetrack, will see a specialist this week with an eye towards a mid-May return, agent Mike Migliore said. The 26-year-old rider underwent successful surgery at the end of March.
“If all goes well with the doctor, we’re hoping he can be back in the middle of May after a little physical therapy,” said Migliore. “He’s young and keeps himself in good shape. It’s a shame he got hurt, we had good momentum going at Aqueduct.”
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