Jockey Drayden Van Dyke has been sidelined since January 26 after breaking his arm following a fall. He made his return to the track last week, albeit with a perspective that another injury is most likely in his future.
“I’m still going through the struggle of getting back,” said Van Dyke. “I’ve never been injured like this. I’ve tumbled plenty of times, but not badly like that. Part of becoming a great rider is fighting through injuries and learning how to ride with them.”
While Van Dyke struck out in both of his return races on June 16 at Santa Anita, he was still a winner just for being back and riding horses for trainer Patrick Gallagher. After the injuries he suffered and the grueling rehab and physical therapy he went through, Van Dyke can now focus on his future on the track.
In his two mounts on June 16, Van Dyke rode Galango to a ninth-place result in a maiden claiming race, and rode Oscar Dominquez to a third-place finish in an allowance race. The last time he raced was on January 26.
“It felt really good,” said Van Dyke. “I’ve got the nerves out of the way now. Body-wise, I felt really well. The wrist and arm felt good—just maybe a tad bit week, but that will get better with riding.
“You’ve got to go through it. The only thing I could ask for differently is cooler weather.”
In 2,399 career starts, Van Dyke has a record of 335-349-323, and has earned over $16 million.