Velazquez injured in three-horse spill at Churchill-UPDATED
Jockey John Velazquez, who piloted Union Rags to victory in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 9, was injured in a three-horse spill at Churchill Downs Saturday night.
Velazquez’s mount in the ninth race, Mr. Producer, broke down near the sixteenth pole, sending Velazquez to the ground. The horse fell toward the rail, prompting Smart Farda, ridden by Manoel Cruz, to go down. The third horse, Lemansky, ridden by John McKee, then stumbled over Velazquez.
Velazquez was transported to Norton Audubon Hospital; Churchill Downs spokesman Darren Rogers said Velazquez had full mobility, but complained of shoulder pain.
Both Cruz and McKee returned to the jockeys’ room; McKee took off his remaining mounts due to neck and head pain.
Mr. Producer suffered a fractured cannon bone and had to be euthanized. The other two horses, Lemansky and Smart Farda, walked back to their barns.
It has been reported that John Velazquez suffered a broken right collarbone in the spill that occurred Saturday evening at Churchill Downs, and will require surgery. According to the Blood-Horse, Velazquez was also to undergo a CT scan on his back, and hoped that his collarbone could be stabilized enough so that he could have the surgery in New York.