INGLEWOOD, CALIF., JUNE 3 -- Sunday Silence, the 1989 horse of the year, returned from a seven-month layoff today to defeat two rivals while being ridden by a substitute jockey in the $303,400 Californian at Hollywood Park.
Racing for the first time since beating Easy Goer by a neck in the Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 4, Sunday Silence ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 to prevail by three-quarters of a length over Stylish Winner.
Patrick Valenzuela was the substitute rider for Chris McCarron, who was involved in a fourth-race spill in which he broke both legs, his right arm and also injured his right knee. Kent Desormeaux also was hurt in the spill, fracturing one rib and bruising others.
The ninth victory in 13 lifetime starts for Sunday Silence was worth $168,400, raising the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Halo's career earnings to $4,768,554.
Charlatan III, ridden by Julio Garcia, was third and last, three lengths back.
McCarron, 35, had broken his left leg in a spill at Santa Anita on Oct. 16, 1986. He came back to win the Kentucky Derby aboard Alysheba less than seven months later.
"This injury is less severe than the previous one," said Alan McCarron, the jockey's brother. "There's no way this will threaten his career. He's a big kid and can bounce back. They said he'd be out a long time last time, and he came back two months sooner than they thought he would."
McCarron's mount, Full Design, was unable to avoid Desormeaux's horse, J. Nic's Desire, who broke down while leading the seven-furlong race midway around the turn.
Both jockeys were taken to nearby Centinela Hospital Medical Center by ambulance and remained hospitalized overnight. McCarron is to have surgery on his left leg.
J. Nic's Desire was humanely destroyed; Full Design survived the spill and was walked off the track.