Alert Helpers Save Maiden From Injury at Belmont

(from NYRA release)
Joseph Giogrio's Stormy Journey, a 3-year-old maiden making his debut in Belmont Park's fourth race Satuday, flipped in the tunnel before the race and became lodged between a retaining rail and the clubhouse wall. But a team of helpers headed by the New York Racing Association's Chief Examining Veterinarian Dr. Celeste Kunz extricated the colt.

The incident happened about 100 feet before the entrance to the main track. Jockey Phil Teator escaped injury.

"He really helped himself out by not thrashing around when he was between the rail and the wall," Kunz said of Stormy Journey. "We were able to sedate him and drag him back into the middle of the tunnel."

Stormy Journey was wobbly after he came out of the anesthetic, but Kunz and about 10 helpers were eventually able to get the colt on his feet and walk him back to the stable area through the paddock. Among those helping Kunz and Stormy Journey were veterinarian Dr. Mark Piecoro, track superintendent Jerry Porcelli, grandstand foreman Pete Mistretta, valets Karl Keegan and Dave Farley, trainer Doug Nunn and others.

Stormy Journey amazingly escaped the 45-minute ordeal with a small cut on his right hind leg.

While Stormy Journey was in the tunnel, that prevented the horses for the fifth race getting onto the track on time from the paddock. Post time for the fifth race was delayed 10 minutes.

In an earlier incident today at Belmont, jockey Richard Migliore was unseated by his second-race mount, Western Beau, just moments after they stepped onto the track. Migliore was taken to North Shore University Hospital for X-rays to his left ankle, which came back negative. According to agent Drew Mollica, Migliore is "99 percent certain to ride tomorrow."

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