Jockey Rodriguez Fractures Back at Laurel

(from Laurel Park report)
Journeyman jockey Erick Rodriguez, fourth in the rider standings at Laurel Park, will be out of action for up to six weeks after fracturing four vertebrae in the T-spine section in his back in a spill during Thursday's fourth race.

The 25-year old was riding post-time favorite Bud Chaffee when the gelding fell a furlong from the finish line, sending the jockey forward and hard to the ground. He scrambled under the inner rail and was quickly attended to by the ambulance crew.

Rodriguez, who finished eighth in the state standings in 2003 and 2004, had 48 wins during the meet trailing only Ramon Dominguez, Eric Camacho, and Ryan Fogelsonger. He rode 23 winners in March with at least one victory on 10 consecutive days and tied his career-high with four first place finishes last Sunday.

Earlier this month, jockey Abel Castellano Jr. cracked two vertebrae in a spill at Laurel Park and is expected to be out of action for at least a month.