Horse Dies at Del Mar, 2 Jockeys Released From Hospital

Jockeys Corey Nakatani, 47, and Geovani Franco, 21, were thrown to the grass during Saturday’s final race at Del Mar when Nakatani’s horse went down, causing Franco’s horse to fall on top, the San Diego Thoroughbred Club said.

The jockeys were rushed to Scripps Memorial Hospital where they were held for observation, according to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. 

Nakatani was released from the hospital Sunday after suffering "concerning" injuries, including a possible back injury, the Thoroughbred Club said. 

“Positive news! We just met with the spinal specialist and he will be released from the hospital shortly," Nakatani's son and agent, Matt Nakatani, said. "He thankfully escaped without any major injuries, however, his timetable to return to riding is uncertain."

Franco, who returned to the racetrack Sunday, suffered a bruise high on his left ankle, his agent, James Giannone, confirmed. 

“He’s very fortunate, and blessed, to be able to come out of it the way he did,” Giannone said. “Something like this is tough on everyone, but he’s cowboy tough. The last time he went down like this, last year at Oaklawn Park, he won two races the next day.”

Nakatani’s horse, Irish Spring, later died of his injuries.

Another horse died when it went into cardiac arrest while training at the track two weeks ago. Famed jockey Victor Espinoza was seriously injured when the horse fell.

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