Jockey Bonnie Castaneda remained in the intensive care unit at University of Cincinnati Hospital Jan. 3 and is scheduled to undergo surgery Jan. 4 for two broken vertebrae in her back.
The 50-year-old rider also sustained a neck injury when her mount clipped heels with another horse during the fourth race at Turfway Park Jan. 1. Castaneda was aboard Jolinda in the $5,000 claiming race when Vicki L., who eventually finished third under Rafael Mojica Jr., came out and caused the accident. Vicki L. was later disqualified and placed 10th in the 11-horse field for the interference.
Castaneda’s husband, Marco Castaneda, who trains Jolinda, said his wife apparently hit her head when she fell to the track.
“It was a pretty nasty spill,” said Marco Castaneda, a former jockey who does not blame Mojica for the incident. “It was just an accident. He feels very bad about it.”
Marco Castaneda said there is concern about the possibility of brain injuries to his wife, though the initial MRI of the area did not indicate that. He said additional tests would be performed following her back surgery.
Castaneda said doctors are keeping his wife in an induced sleep to preclude additional injuries. He said she had been moving her legs and arms, which are good signs, and said a few words at one point.
Bonnie Castaneda has ridden 230 winners since beginning her riding career in 1995, according to Equibase.
Jolinda sustained some scrapes and stiffness as a result of the accident but had no fractures, the trainer said.