Jockey Victor Espinoza was pulled from his three scheduled races during Friday's modified Opening Day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club after testing positive for COVID-19.
Espinoza's agent, Brian Beach, confirmed to NBC 7 Friday evening that Espinoza tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day.
Beach said that Espinoza wasn’t feeling well earlier in the week, on Monday and Tuesday. He added that Espinoza also found out that Martin Garcia, another jockey he rode with at Los Alamitos Racetrack in Orange County on Saturday, tested positive when he returned to Kentucky.
Between his feeling unwell and learning of Garcia's results, Espinoza felt he should go get a test just in case.
Espinoza went Thursday to a testing site in Orange County because he was told he would be able to receive a quick result, but the results were delayed due to a malfunction in testing, Beach says.
Because Espinoza needed a quick result to figure out whether or not he could race Friday for Del Mar’s opening day, he “found a way to get a test in San Diego County [Friday], and received a result within a few hours.”
Espinoza is still waiting on the original testing results from Orange County.
Espinoza is feeling better now, and “wouldn’t really know he felt bad at all."
Beach confirmed Espinoza will not be riding for a while, until they get negative results back.