11/29/2001 12:00AM

Apprentice hurt in Philly spill

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Apprentice jockey Stormy Smith will be out of action for about three weeks after sustaining facial injuries in a spill at Philadelphia Park on Tuesday.

Smith, 24, a native of Oklahoma who has been riding on the East Coast less than two weeks, fell off his mount, Cliffside, shortly after the start of the fourth race. Cliffside, part of 12-horse field of maiden claimers, was caught in tight quarters and nearly clipped heels, dislodging Smith, and one of his hoofs struck Smith in the face as he tumbled onto the track.

According to Smith's agent, Joe Mascolo, Smith suffered a broken nose, a fractured jaw, and facial lacerations that required numerous stitches.

"It's a shame," Mascolo said. "Tuesday was supposed to be Stormy's day off, but trainer Joe Aquilino asked him to ride one horse at Philly and he accepted the assignment."

Smith, who has been riding since June 2000, came to Aqueduct on Nov. 17 and had taken just five mounts there, finishing second with 38-1 longshot Anties Boy for trainer James Ferraro in last Saturday's ninth race.

Before coming East, Smith rode at Turf Paradise, the Woodlands, and Prairie Meadows, winning with 21 of 257 mounts for the year.