Jockeys Avoid Disaster in Aqueduct Spill

By Claire Novak
Journeyman jockey C.C. Lopez took off his remaining mounts at Aqueduct on Friday, citing an injured thumb and sore ribs following a nasty three-horse spill. Lopez plans to consult a personal physician regarding his injuries and is uncertain whether he will return to racing over the weekend.

The spill occurred in the third race when Lopez's mount, the Joseph Pierce Jr.-trained Happy Face, broke down at the head of the stretch and fell, throwing her rider. Apprentice Channing Hill was then unseated when his mount, Allen's Blessing, collided with Happy Face. Apprentice Pablo Morales was also thrown when his mount, the Allen Jerkens-trained Pavlina, stumbled over Hill.

Both apprentice riders were transported via ambulance to Jamaica Hospital following the accident, where precautionary x-rays revealed no injuries. Morales was treated for a bloody nose.

"Both of these guys are okay," Hill's agent, Drew Mollica, said from Jamaica hospital. "They'll probably be back in the saddle tomorrow."

Happy Face was euthanized after suffering a broken ankle. Allen's Blessing and Pavlina were not seriously injured.