Talk about resilience: Two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Garrett Gomez had 10 screws and a plate put in his heel after a paddock accident in January. He’ll pilot Daddy Nose Best in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
Gomez, 40, is a staple of California racing, and was the nation’s top money-earning jockey from 2006-2009. He came closest to winning the Kentucky Derby with second-placed Pioneerof the Nile in 2009.
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, HRTV will air a documentary entitled “118 Days,” tracking Gomez’s recovery and acquisition of a Derby mount after his injury earlier this year.
“Even when you’re riding at the upper levels of the sport, there are no guarantees. We saw that earlier this year when I got hurt, and the fact I was able to wind up on a pretty nice young horse with a great future going into this race is one of those privileges you don’t take for granted,” he wrote in his most recent blog for ESPN.
In March, the Steve Asmussen-trained Daddy Nose Best won the Sunland Derby (G3) under jockey Julien Leparoux, who’s opted to ride the likely Derby favorite Union Rags.
Less than a week till the biggest day in racing.