Jockey Victor Lebron, the leading rider at Turfway Park for the ongoing winter/spring season, will undergo surgery March 27 to repair two fractured bones and tissue damage incurred in a racing accident on March 21 at the Florence, Ky. track.
Lebron, who ranks third in the nation by wins (95, all scored at Turfway), is expected to miss approximately six months of riding time due to the injuries, which were diagnosed by orthopedic specialist Dr. Ray Shea of Jewish Hospital in Louisville. He was initially thought to have only suffered a sprain when evaluated by doctors at St. Luke Hospital in West Florence.
“The doctor said since he’s fit and young; the downtime could be a little bit less, but we’re still talking about not coming back until September or October,” said the jockey’s agent, Jimmy McNerney.
Lebron was injured in the fifth race on the Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) undercard, when he was aboard the Richard B. Kohnhorst-trained Belle's Beamer, a 3-year-old filly by Mutakddim, who started from the one-hole at the start of a six-furlong sprint over Turfway's Polytrack. The filly bolted at the start and veered to the inside, dropping Lebron into the rail. He remained on the ground for several moments before walking with assistance to the ambulance.
Belle's Beamer was apparently uninjured. The filly ran with the field until the final turn, then ducked back up the chute and was corralled in the stable area.
Lebron, 24, has brought in a winter/spring meet record $1,039,055 from 397 starters. He is a native of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, who earned his first riding title at the 2007 Indiana Downs meet and brought home his second at Turfway’s 2008 winter/spring meet.