Back Injury Shelves Nicolas

From Santa Anita Publicity
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 3, 2014) -- As reported last night by Daily Racing Form’s Steve Andersen, Gonzalo Nicolas suffered a chipped vertebrae on the lower part of his back and will be sidelined four to six weeks, agent Vince DeGregory said Friday morning. The seven-pound apprentice rider was thrown when his mount, Shand, broke down and fell in upper stretch in Thursday’s eighth race.

Nicolas was treated at Huntington Memorial Hospital and released to his family, which took him to their home in Riverside.

“It was a tough night,” DeGregory said. “He had tremendous pain in his neck and back. He won’t need surgery, but we’ll take all the time necessary before coming back. Right now, it looks like four to six weeks.”

A 23-year-old native of Guatemala, Nicolas had one win from 16 mounts through Santa Anita’s first six days, with two seconds and two thirds. “He came here when he was 13 and was a wrestling champ at Riverside High,” said DeGregory, who has represented several Hall of Fame jockeys during his lengthy career, including Chris McCarron.

“Gonzalo is quiet, very polite. You’d never know him to be a fighter, but he has won nine of 11 cage fighting matches,” DeGregory said. “I sent a tape of one of his fights to McCarron. After watching it, he said, ‘I don’t think anyone in the jock’s room will mess with him.’”