Rispoli Released from Hospital After Spill

Jockey Matt Rispoli, injured in a three-horse spill at Gulfstream Park Jan. 20, is back home after being discharged from Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.

The 24-year-old Rispoli suffered a concussion, broken right tibia, and four fractures to his face, including his cheek and orbital bone, said his agent, Jay Rushing Jr., on the morning of Jan. 24. Rispoli was sent home from the hospital the preceding night.

Rushing said doctors told Rispoli that recovery and rehabilitation could take up to four months. They are scheduled to return to Memorial Regional for a follow-up appointment Jan. 27.

Because of the location of the break, Rispoli is also facing a possible procedure to stabilize his leg, which could curtail his riding career.

"We have to go back on Monday to check on surgery," Rushing said. "The break is higher up in his tibia. We're trying not to have the surgery. If he has to have a rod put in his leg, he may not be able to ride because it could affect the way he squats on a horse."

Rispoli has five wins from 70 mounts at the current Gulfstream meet.

He was hurt when his mount, 10-year-old mare Suzzona, clipped heels with another horse on the far turn of a five-furlong turf sprint while racing near the lead along the inside. Rispoli was thrown to the ground in the path of several horses including Cameo Lady and Unseen Visitor, both of which also went down.

Jockeys Luis Saez and Joel Rosario walked away from the spill while Rispoli was taken directly to the hospital. Suzzona and Unseen Visitor were on their feet after the accident; there was no update on the condition of Cameo Lady, who was vanned off the track and returned to the barn area.

"He doesn't remember anything from the fall on. Looking at the replay he was very, very lucky," Rushing said of Rispoli. "He's a young kid, so hopefully he can heal a little faster. He's a good kid. I hope everything works out for him."

Leading rider a Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in 2012, Rispoli began his career in 2009 on the Maryland and Pennsylvania circuits. Injuries from a car accident sidelined him for 1 1/2 years, but he returned to ride full-time in 2011.

Rispoli has 432 wins and nearly $9.1 million in total purse earnings from 2,792 lifetime starts. He earned the first graded stakes victory of his career aboard 42-1 shot Valiant Girl in the My Charmer Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Calder Casino & Race Course Dec. 7.

"Doctors said the break would take two to three months to heal. With rehab and everything, we figure at least four months," Rushing said. "Unless we go back on Monday and they say something else, right now from what they're telling us that's what it sounds like."

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