Irish Rider Spencer Hospitalized After Kick

Ireland's champion jockey Jamie Spencer was taken to a Long Island hospital on Saturday after being injured in the paddock at Aqueduct.

Spencer was about to get a leg up on Bandini for the fourth race when the 2-year old colt kicked him in the abdominal area. The impact was enough to force Spencer off his feet and he lay prone for several minutes before finally sitting up and being loaded onto a stretcher and into an ambulance.

X-rays on Spencers's abdominal area were negative and the 24-year old rider was scheduled tp undergo a precautionary CAT-Scan.

Spencer is spending some time working for Todd Pletcher in an effort to improve his North American racing experience. All of his Breeders' Cup mounts were slow to leave the gate, and Spencer was the target of severe criticism for his premature move aboard Powerscourt in the Turf. Earlier this year in the Arlington Million, Powerscourt appeared to carry Spencer to his first North American victory, but the stewards disqualified him for causing interference in the stretch.

When the Gulfstream Park meeting opens on January 3, Spencer will ride there for about the first month of the meeting before returning to Ireland, where he won 93 races in his first season under contract to Aidan O'Brien.

As for Bandini, he suffered a slow start under substitute rider Ariel Smith and never threatened.