Jeiron Barbosa to return quicker than expected
Jeiron Barbosa, the leading rider at Laurel Park’s ongoing fall meet and a top contender for the Eclipse Award as champion apprentice, will return to action next weekend after escaping serious injury from a Nov. 8 fall at Parx.
Agent Tom Stift said Barbosa, who doesn’t turn 19 until Dec. 18, was given the OK to ride after visiting with Dr. Jason Pothast of the MTHA’s Horsemen’s Health System at Laurel following Friday’s first race.
“He’s cleared to ride,” Stift said. “He’s going to take this weekend off, start getting on horses Tuesday and start riding again next Friday.”
Barbosa was taken to the hospital earlier this week after his horse, 6-5 favorite Soupster, clipped heels in Parx’s 10th race finale and caused a chain reaction spill involving four other horses and riders. All five of the horses walked back to the barn area while Eduviel Ignacio reportedly suffered a broken collarbone.
The initial diagnosis for Barbosa was that he hurt his left wrist, an injury he had suffered previously.
“The doctor had him do several things and he said, ‘Are you sure this doesn’t hurt?’” Stift said. “He was doing everything. He looked at all the CAT scans, he looked at all the X-rays and it was an old injury that they had seen at the hospital.
“He’s got a couple scrapes and bruises, and that’s about it. No concussion, nothing,” he added. “He was very lucky.”
Barbosa began riding professionally Jan. 1 in his native Puerto Rico before coming to the U.S. in March, winning with his first two domestic mounts. He won riding titles at Laurel’s spring meet and historic Pimlico Race Course’s boutique fall stand and entered Friday with 29 wins this fall, seven more than Horacio Karamanos, who had one winner Friday.
On the year, Barbosa is Maryland’s top apprentice and the second-leading rider with 92 wins, trailing Jevian Toledo (124) and one ahead of Karamanos. He is 154-for-833 overall with $4.7 million in purse earnings.
Barbosa had mounts in eight of nine races Friday, eight of 10 Saturday including Gormley’s Gabriela in the $100,000 Smart Halo for 2-year-old fillies, and one race Sunday. He was also named in races Nov. 14 and 15 at Parx.
Laurel will race this weekend through Monday, Nov. 14. Barbosa is expected to return Nov. 18 at Laurel.
“He’s very happy,” Stift said.