Jockey Nelson Faces Ankle Surgery After Fall

Jockeys Diane Nelson and Javier Castellano both spent Friday recovering from a Thursday spill at Belmont Park that sent them both to North Shore Hospital. Nelson is to undergo surgery to repair two bone fractures in her left ankle and expects to be sidelined for at least three months. Castellano may ride Saturday.

The two jockeys were injured in the first race on the far turn of the Widener Turf Course. Sonn D' Oro threw Nelson when she broke down on the lead in the 10-horse claiming race for 3-year-old fillies. Pokerfaced, under Castellano, jumped the fallen Sonn D' Oro and appeared to clip Nelson. Castellano was also thrown forward.

Nelson broke two bones in her left ankle. She was scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, but it was postponed until Saturday.

"One minute I thought I was going to win the race," Nelson said on Friday. "The next minute I was on the ground."

Castellano underwent a full battery of tests, including x-rays, an MRI and an extensive physical examination at North Shore Hospital until 7 p.m.

"His tests at the hospital all came back negative," said Castellano's jockey agent Mike Kelly. "He is all stiff and sore, but he is in therapy today. He's going to be in the whirlpool and get a massage to help alleviate the stiffness. All things considered we're lucky that he didn't get hurt worse."

Kelly acknowledged that Castellano might be able to honor commitments on five mounts, including two stakes-race rides, on Saturday. "It is a possibility," Kelly said. "We'll just have to see how he feels."

Sonn D' Oro was euthanized on the track. "She had a left front cannon bone shaft fracture and, because of that fracture, the right front ankle disarticulated," said NYRA Attending Veterinarian Dr. Anthony Verderosa. "(Sonn D' Oro) broke both front legs. Pokerfaced fell over the fallen foe, but he got back up and ran off with no visible lesions."

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