A frightening spill at Delaware Park May 25 involving jockeys Gabriel Saez and Ricardo Chiappe ended well for both riders, who appear to be unharmed. One of the horses involved in the accident, however, Chanceofshowers, was catastrophically injured and had to be euthanized.
During the sixth race, a $15,000 claiming contest for older fillies and mares, Saez’ mount Chanceofshowers, a 4-year-old filly trained by Juan Vazquez, clipped heels with another horse in tight quarters and fell entering the far turn. Untuttable Gal, with Chiappe in the saddle, subsequently stumbled and fell over her rival.
“(Saez) was behind horses, and he disappeared from the screen, and then the horse behind him trampled him,” said Saez’ agent Ruben Munoz. Saez was immediately transported to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., where he was examined for injuries.
Munoz said Saez had trouble seeing when the incident occurred due to dirt in his eyes and briefly lost consciousness upon hitting the ground. Except for some scrapes and a bloody nose, however, the rider appeared to be in good health…and good spirits.
“He’s up and about, and they already took him off the stretcher, and he’s sitting in a wheelchair,” said Munoz. “He’s moving his arms and legs, and he’s talking. He asked me if he had time to ride Larry’s (Jones) horse in the last race, and of course I told him no. But he’s very fortunate. He’s extremely strong.”
Saez, who rode the ill-fated Eight Bellesin last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), after which she broke down and had to be euthanized, will receive a CAT scan to confirm that he has no fractures or internal bleeding from the May 25 incident. Chiappe was reported to be back in the jockey’s room at Delaware Park, unharmed and ready to go back to work.
John Wayne, executive director of the Delaware Racing Commission, said a post mortem report was being conducted on the death of Chanceofshowers in order to better investigate how the spill occurred.