Jockey Jose Santos, who won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) aboard Funny Cide in 2003, remained hospitalized Feb. 2 with serious injuries incurred in a three-horse spill at Aqueduct Race Course the previous afternoon.
According to Santos’ manager, Kelly Weitsma of Equisponse, Santos suffered two compression fractures to his spine, multiple fractures to his ribs, and a possibly broken nose. Although it is not likely that the injuries will require surgery, Santos will be hospitalized for an undetermined period of time.
“Although he is in a tremendous amount of pain he is resting comfortably,” Weitsma said. “He’s a very lucky man, because neither one of the fractures to the spine appear to have caused any displacement. He’ll be in a brace for a few weeks and should make a full recovery.”
Santos was admitted to the trauma unit at Jamacia Hospital in New York following an incident during Aqueduct’s eighth race, when his mount, For a Prayer, fell and caused a chain-reaction spill that sent jockey Ramon Dominguez to the same hospital with possible ligament damage in his right knee. The accident also involved jockey Eddie Martin Jr., who declined medical attention and was apparently uninjured after his mount fell over Dominguez’s.
Santos, however, bore the brunt of the accident and was complaining of shortness of breath as he was removed from the track via stretcher. Taken directly to the hospital, he was placed on oxygen – and although he was moved from Jamacia’s trauma unit, doctors ordered precautionary CAT scans to search for internal injuries.
Meanwhile, Dominguez was released Feb. 1. His agent, Steve Rushing, said doctors gave the rider a brace to wear until the swelling in his right knee diminished. Initial x-rays showed no broken bones or fractures, but doctors were concerned about possible ligament damage.
"We’re going to have to wait until the swelling goes down, and then they’ll do an MRI," said Rushing. "He’ll be off for at least a week."
The 3-year-old filly Santos was riding, For a Prayer (by Songandaprayer), suffered a fatal neck injury, according to a press release from Aqueduct. Domiguez’s mount, Are We Dreamin, and Street Sass (the 3-2 favorite under Martin Jr.) were not harmed in the incident.