Trainer Klesaris Plans Return to Work This Week

Trainer Steve Klesaris, injured in a May 18 car accident, has been released from Christiana Hospital in Wilmington, Del. and plans to return to his regular training duties this week, his wife said Monday morning.

“He’s fine; he’s sore and he isn’t real pretty to look at, but he’s able to function,” said Lil Klesaris, who was in the hospital with the trainer as he underwent plastic surgery on a severe forehead laceration. “He was able to go to the sales today and tomorrow, which is really what he wanted to do. We were very fortunate.”

Klesaris, 47, was driving near Delaware Park when another driver collided head-on with his truck. He was hospitalized but released the same day around midnight after CAT scans and x-rays of his back and neck returned negative.

“When he CAT-scanned clean, that was a huge relief,” said the trainer’s wife. “The fact that he can get around, move his arms and legs, that he’s able to go back to doing what he loves… that makes us very grateful. And we’re also very grateful so many people have asked about him; you don’t realize how many people out there care about you until something like this happens.”

Even though he was sidelined, Klesaris still managed to send out Maryland Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. III) winner Diabolical on the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) undercard May 19, thanks to his barn crew.

“We have a big team and Victor Perez, one of our assistants, has been around Diabolical since he was a 2-year-old just like I have,” Lil Klesaris said. “We ship out and run races like this all the time, so just because he wasn’t able to make it didn’t pose a huge problem. Everything ran like clockwork.”

According to Lil Klesaris, the trainer was back in the barn May 20.

“He went yesterday and pushed himself even though he didn’t feel so good,” she said. “He doesn’t want to stop, he just keeps on going.”

Klesaris has saddled 36 winners from 126 starters for a 29% success rate this year. At Delaware, where the meet began April 28, he has saddled eight winners from his first 14 starters.