Kevin Gomez (Maryland Jockey Club photo)
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David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
LAUREL, Md. – Journeyman Kevin Gomez continues his comeback with three mounts Friday at Laurel Park including 5-2 program favorite She Is Wisky in the seventh race allowance feature.
Post time for the return of live racing is 12:25 p.m.
Gomez, 28, went winless in four mounts last weekend at Laurel, returning to be fifth aboard Monster Mason Jan. 6. It was his first ride in 11 weeks after breaking his collarbone in a spill Oct. 21 on the eve of the Jim McKay Maryland Million.
“He’s very happy to be back,” agent Frank Douglas said. “He’s getting some mounts. He feels good, he’s working every day and he’s fit.”
Gomez and Victor Carrasco were injured when Carrasco’s mount, Hooky Player, fell approaching the wire in a claiming event on the turf, and Gomez was unseated when the trailing Casamo was unable to avoid the spill. Carrasco has yet to return.
Douglas said Gomez, a finalist for the 2013 Eclipse Award as champion apprentice, had surgery to repair the break and following recovery and rehabilitation began getting on horses for champion trainer Brittany Russell.
“He’s worked hard to get back,” Douglas said. “We’ll see how it goes. We’re looking forward to getting him back on track.”
A native of Guatemala, Gomez ranked 17th overall with 37 wins at Laurel and historic Pimlico Race Course in 2022 to go along with $1.55 million in purse earnings. Overall, he won 44 of 437 races and nearly $1.9 million in purses.
Gomez rides Rascally Rebel in Friday’s opener and Blue Moon Bunny in Race 3. She Is Wisky was second in Laurel’s 2022 Wide Country and is making her 4-year-old debut after being claimed by Russell for $40,000 out of a third-place finish in a 5 ½-furlong sprint Dec. 9 at Laurel. She drew the rail against six rivals in the about 1 1/16-mile allowance for Maryland-bred/sired fillies and mares 4 and up.
Race 8 Friday is a one-mile optional claiming allowance for 3-year-old fillies that drew a field of seven led by Classy Nancy, dropping down and stretching out after finishing second by less than two lengths in a six-furlong claimer Dec. 12 at Parx for trainer Jamie Ness. Coal Mine, first or second in each of his four starts, is racing first off the claim for six-time Maryland leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez.
There will be carryovers of $8,594.49 in the 50-cent Late Pick 5 (Races 5-9) and $3,030.86 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 4-9) Friday.
Gomez has two mounts on Saturday’s nine-race card, which includes an about 1 1/16-mile allowance for Maryland-bred/sired 4-year-olds and up in Race 6 with Mose Perfect, a winner of two straight, and 2022 Federico Tesio runner-up Mr Jefferson. The Race 8 feature, an open third-level optional claiming allowance for 4-year-olds and up going the same distance, drew six led by stakes winners Vance Scholars and Galerio.
Steve Newby’s Vance Scholars is trained by Phillip Capuano, the 29-year-old nephew of Dale Capuano, who retired effective Jan. 1 following a successful 41-year training career. Phillip Capuano is seeking his first career win, with one second from his first five starts after taking over his uncle’s stable. He has one horse entered Friday at Charles Town and four Saturday at Laurel.
Laurel will continue to host live racing both Sunday and a special Martin Luther King Jr. holiday program Monday.