DEL MAR, Calif. -- Jockey Martin Garcia miraculously escaped serious injury Tuesday morning at Del Mar when a filly he was working broke down while galloping out a furlong past the wire, then plummeted to the ground and rolled over top of Garcia.
"I'm okay," Garcia said after he walked off the track, his front and back covered in dirt. "She broke down. I tried to hold her up but then the other leg gave way, too. She rolled over top of me. The safety vest saved me."
Garcia was aboard the unraced 2-year-old filly Vitality, a daughter of Smart Strike who was nearing her career debut for trainer Bob Baffert. She had worked five furlongs in company in 59.40 seconds before she was stricken. She had to be euthanized on the track, a rare fatality during a Del Mar season that has been largely free of catastrophic injuries.
Vitality was owned by Juddmonte Farms, which purchased Vitality as a yearling for $330,000 last September at Keeneland.