Ward Assistant Azeff Seriously Injured During Training Hours

Yvonne Azeff, an assistant to trainer John T. Ward Jr., was injured Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park when she was thrown from the horse she was riding after it became agitated by another horse. Azeff was taken by ambulance to Memorial Regional Hospital where she was placed in the intensive care unit. She was listed in "serious" condition as of 1:00 p.m.

The lead pony Azeff was riding fell, pinning Azeff under the horse.

"The pony ran towards a wall, ducked away, and then ran towards a fence and bounced off that," said jockey Edgar Prado, who witnessed the incident. "At that time, the pony lost his balance and fell over into the horse path and landed on top of her."

Prado continued to say the pony regained its feet immediately, but that Azeff remained on the ground, unconscious.

Azeff, 41, became an assistant to Ward after competing as a jockey for several years. Last year, she helped prepare Monarchos for his Kentucky Derby victory.