Jockey John Velazquez broke his right collarbone and will require surgery, Churchill Downs officials confirmed June 16, after the 40-year-old rider was injured in a three-horse spill during the ninth race at the Louisville oval.
Velazquez was also undergoing a precautionary CT scan on his back at Audubon Hospital in Louisville and hoped the collarbone could be stabilized enough for the surgery to be performed in New York, officials said.
The jockey was thrown from the Graham Motion-trained Mr. Producer when that 4-year-old son of Dehere broke down in mid-stretch in the 1 1/16-mile maiden event for 3-year-olds and upward. The colt, making his third start for Albert Frassetto and Norton Herrick, fell into Smart Farda under jockey Manoel Cruz, who was also thrown.
Velazquez was finally kicked by Nancy Canning’s Lemansky, ridden by John McKee. McKee fell from the saddle but his horse did not go down. Both McKee and Cruz walked off the track following the incident. Velazquez was taken from the oval via stretcher by paramedics. Cruz retained his mount in the 10th race on the card, but McKee took off his in the 11th.
Mr. Producer was euthanized. Information regarding the condition of the other horses involved was not immediately available.
Velazquez, who won the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) aboard Union Rags , is slated to be inducted into horse racing's Hall of Fame in August in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.