Veteran jockey Tony D'Amico is recovering at a Louisville hospital after he suffered several injuries when he was thrown from his horse during Wednesday's 10th race at Churchill Downs.
D'Amico, 49, suffered a fractured left collarbone, four fractured ribs and a punctured lung when he was thrown from his mount near the head of the stretch in that race. His wife, Mindy, said she fully expects her husband to return to the saddle.
"He loves to ride," she said. "He's up in his hospital room right now, watching the races and he's mad that he can't be out there. He had a pretty good Keeneland meet, so he was looking forward to this meet. For Tony it's never a question of will I go back, but how soon?"
The native of Ravenna, Ohio was injured when his mount, Deep Woods, suddenly swerved toward the rail and unseated him as the horse ran near the back of the 11-horse field. D'Amico landed directly in the path of the oncoming Sally Forth, ridden by Leslie Mawing. The trailing horse and rider hurdled over D'Amico, but appeared to strike the fallen rider as he lay on the track.
D'Amico was transported to Caritas Medical Center, which is located a few minutes from the track, and was later transferred to University of Lousville Hospital.
The 30-year-veteran rider has gone to the sidelines with injury several times during his career. He suffered a broken neck in a 1989 spill and was treated for neck and spine injuries following another mishap in 1989.
The horses involved in Wednesday's accident were not injured.