Jockeys Eddie Martin Jr. and Norberto Arroyo Jr. were involved in a spill during Aqueduct’s fifth race Saturday as two horses died. Following the incident, the remainder of Saturday’s nine-race live card was canceled, as was Sunday's scheduled program.
Aqueduct remains open for simulcasting. Appropriate refunds of wagers on Saturday's card were made and fans were issued rain checks for admission, parking and programs.
Arroyo was taken to Jamaica Hospital to treat a bruised eye and injured left shoulder. Martin was apparently uninjured.
On a track rated fast, Arroyo, aboard Cadillac Cruiser, was on the lead in the 1 1/16-mile claiming race on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track when the 5-year-old gelding took a bad step. Cadillac Cruiser fractured his right-front leg coming off the clubhouse turn, staggered forward and fell. Martin, aboard Jimmy O, then fell over Cadillac Cruiser and Arroyo.
Cadillac Cruiser was euthanized. Jimmy O suffered a fatal neck injury.
It was the second spill in three days for Martin, who also escaped injury in a three-horse incident on Thursday afternoon that sent jockeys Jose Santos and Ramon Dominguez, the meet’s leading rider, to the hospital.
Santos, who suffered a fractured spine, ribs and a broken nose, was transferred to North Shore Hospital late Friday night and will be out of action indefinitely.
“He broke his breastbone, which is why he had so much trouble breathing,” said Santos’ wife, Rita. “He broke theT-7 and T-8 vertebrae and pieces of the T-7 are pressing the spinal cord. He is being fitted for a brace, and there is no way to tell how long he will be in it.
Dominguez is at home in Maryland resting an injured right knee, and pending the results of an MRI, will miss at least two weeks.