Jock Victor Carrasco returns from injury * The Racing Biz

Nearly 4 1/2 months after being injured in a crash at Laurel Park, journeyman Victor Carrasco returned to racing on Sunday.

Carrasco, 30, finished sixth aboard Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds’ Libraryofcongress, a first-time starter for trainer Graham Motion, in race six, a 7-metre maiden claim for 3-year-olds. As a Maryland-bred colt in the code of honor, the claim award was waived.

Libraryofcongress stumbled out of the gate and sped near the back of the nine-horse field in the early stages before hitting a late run and finishing eight lengths behind Mine Run, half the preferred Brittany Russell-trained competitor.

Carrasco, a four-time Maryland racer and winner of the 2013 Eclipse Award as Champion Apprentice, has been aboard his first mount for 150 days since the eve of the 2022 Jim McKay Maryland Million. He was injured when his horse, Hooky Player, fell at the opener on October 21 while approaching the wire.

A winner of nearly 1,200 career races, Carrasco was named in seven of the eight stakes and four starter stakes on the Maryland Million Day. One of his mounts, Sky’s Not Falling, won the $100,000 Turf Sprint with Paco Lopez on board.

Carrasco finished seventh overall in Maryland in 2022 with 61 wins from 376 mounts and $3.133 million in purses earned. Jockey Kevin Gomez, who broke his collarbone in the same accident, returned to riding January 6.

“I had a dislocated left thumb. It was pretty bad,” Carrasco said. “I didn’t know it would take me so long to get back to where I am now. The doctor said my thumb was dislocated in the main joint and that’s why it took me longer than we expected to come back.

“You gave me two options. They said we can put a screw in your thumb, but you’re going to have to have that screw for the rest of your life. Or we can take your own string from your forearm and wrap your thumb with your own string. But it will be a longer recovery. I’m sure with a needle I could have been back in eight to 12 weeks,” he added. “It was quite challenging. I never thought I would need my left thumb as much as I did when I got injured.”

After receiving approval from his doctors, Carrasco began boarding horses for Motion at Tampa Bay Downs before returning to Maryland, where he is represented by Agent Scotty Silver.

“It feels good. I wanted to test it in warm weather before I get to cold weather just to make sure I’m 100 percent fit,” Carrasco said. “It’s been great. I started getting on horses for Graham. Jesse Cruz put me on one. I’ve gone back to Fair Hill and Laurel and things have pretty much normalized, I work for the same outfits and try to get myself to get back in shape.


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