11/11/2010 7:00PM

Hawthorne: The ordeal of Angel Stanley


So, I'm in the Hawthorne paddock before race 8 today, waiting to talk to a trainer whose horse, it turns out, has been scratched. I watch the horses go around this underground, indoor saddling area, and horse #4, Weatherstorm, looks a little scared and confused. Weatherstorm takes the lead when the gates open, sets a quick pace, and tired badly past the three-sixteenths pole. Then, out of the blue, about 20 yards before the wire, he stumbles and falls. Bizarre spill. Weatherstorm gets up, looks around, "What happened?" And though vanned back to the barn, he appears to be fine. Meanwhile, jockey Angel Stanley has cut his eye and perhaps suffered a concussion. He's loaded on to the ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital to be examined. No serious injuries is the word.

Fast forward to race 10, a $5K N2L route claimer. The early pace is very taxing, and the deeper closers start to make some ground in late stretch. Here comes #6, Sin Bin, lumbering along at the eighth pole, and he wears down Loveleigh to win. Sin Bin lights the board, $70.80 to win for trainer Ramon Aguayo, a guy in from Suffolk who wins his first Hawthorne race. The jockey's name down on the program is Angel Ortega Stanley, and this would be his first winner of the meet after about 30 losses. But Angel Ortega Stanley has gone to the hospital; regular winner Tanner Riggs has picked up the mount.

The spill surely hurt plenty. But that 10th-race winner surely did not feel good to Mr. Stanley, either.