Velazquez Hospitalized After Bad Spill

Velazquez Hospitalized After Bad Spill
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
John Velazquez

Jockey John Velazquez, a two-time Eclipse Award winner as the nation's leading rider, was transported to the trauma unit at the University of Kentucky Medical Center Oct. 3 with injuries suffered when his mount fell in the seventh race at Keeneland.

Velazquez was able to move his extremities and remained conscious, according to Dr. Barry Schumer, Keeneland’s medical director.

Velazquez was involved in a two-horse spill that occured at the top of the stretch in a maiden special weight. The accident occurred when Whacka Whack, ridden by Jamie Theriot, clipped heels with Rapid Mon and went down with more than a furlong to run in the 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds. Tap Dancing and Velazquez were unable to avoid the fallen horse and went down as well.

Velazquez lay motionless on the track for several minutes following the accident before being placed on a stretcher and removed. Theriot walked to first aid where he was evaluated and cleared to ride by medical personnel.

Whacka Whacka and Tap Dancing got up and galloped off. Neither was seriously injured, according to track veterinarians.

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