Wednesday, April 19, 2023
OLDSMAR - Ademar Santos has had his share of injuries during a 14-year riding career. So after fracturing both shoulder blades, breaking four ribs and suffering a bruised neck on Jan. 29 in a morning training accident, he knew what the road to returning looked like.
“I’ve been training hard. It takes a lot of dedication,” said Santos, who had ridden seven winners at Tampa Bay Downs at the time of his accident. “I’ve got an Equicizer (mechanical horse) at home and I get on it every day, even on days when I breeze a bunch of horses.”
Weeks before he started exercising horses around the start of April, Santos had begun extensive therapy and gym workouts to prepare for his return. After having his comeback delayed three days when his only scheduled mount on Sunday was scratched, Santos was more than eager to compete.
“This meet is almost over, and it’s time to get going,” said Santos, who finished unplaced on both Tapsolute in the second race and Moonshine Now in the eighth. “You have to start from somewhere. I’ve lost a lot of business, but I’m going to build it back and get back on the same path and do what I love.”
The 47-year-old product of Brazil, who has 698 career victories, finished 10th at Tampa Bay Downs last year with 33 winners despite being stuck in Toronto from Dec. 6-Jan. 27 after Woodbine’s racing season ended because of Canada’s Omicron COVID-19 restrictions. He competed primarily in the mid-Atlantic region after the 2021-2022 Oldsmar meet ended.
Santos has found momentum hard to come by since last spring. He’s hoping a move to Canterbury Park in Minnesota, which launches a new season May 27, will help get it back.
“There is never a good time to get hurt, of course,” he said, “but I feel good where I’m at. I just need the horses now to start winning again. I’ve worked hard to get back and make it happen.”
Santos has been overwhelmed by the tremendous support and encouragement he has received throughout his down time from racing, not only from family, friends and horsemen but the public. “It’s something I greatly appreciate,” he said.
Around the oval - Trainer Kathleen O’Connell won both halves of the early daily double today. She won the first race with Sassy Charlee, a 4-year-old Florida-bred filly winning her third in a row at the $8,000 claiming level. Sassy Charlee is owned by Endsley Oaks Farm and was ridden by Jose Batista.
O’Connell added the second race with Lord Berrier, a 5-year-old Florida-bred gelding owned by DiBello Racing and ridden by Jose Ferrer. Lord Berrier was claimed from the victory for $6,250 by trainer Gregg Sacco for new owner Karla M. De Jesus.
comments powered by