11/13/2014 4:22PM

Alvarado injured, will miss two to four weeks

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Barbara D. Livingston
Junior Alvarado fractured the vertebra just below his shoulder blade on Wednesday.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Jockey Junior Alvarado will be out two to four weeks after suffering a hairline fracture of the T-6 vertebra, just below his shoulder blade, in a spill following Wednesday’s fifth race at Aqueduct.

Alvarado was aboard Knockher Off, who finished second in the race. Galloping out a few strides past the wire, Knockher Off stumbled and pitched Alvarado to the ground, and he landed on his head. Knockher Off, a 4-year-old gelding by Unbridled’s Song, fractured his neck on impact and died instantly.

Alvarado was taken to a local hospital and released Wednesday night but was told by doctors not to ride for two to four weeks, according to his agent, Mike Sellitto. Alvarado, who was in the barn area Thursday morning, was scheduled to see his doctor for a second opinion.

“He’s not sure if it’s an old [fracture] or a new one,” Sellitto said. “He’s going to another doctor to get it re-evaluated.”

It was a bit of a coincidence that the horse Alvarado was injured on was trained by Jimmy Jerkens. In the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 28 at Belmont Park, Alvarado was aboard Moreno, who came in entering the far turn and forced the Jerkens-trained Wicked Strong to clip heels and unseat jockey Rajiv Maragh, who suffered a broken arm.

Alvarado was suspended 15 days for that incident, a penalty he is appealing.

Last December, Alvarado sustained a fractured ankle in a gate mishap at Aqueduct that forced him miss most of the inner-track season.

Alvarado, 28, was enjoying a strong Aqueduct meet, with 11 winners from 56 mounts, good enough for third in the jockeys’ standings.