01/18/2012 4:05PM

Aqueduct: Alvarado puts spills behind him


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Bruised, perhaps, but not broken, jockey Junior Alvarado has not let being involved in two spills in an eight-day period at Aqueduct  hinder him.

Alvarado, who was unseated from mounts on Jan. 6 and Jan. 14, is the third-leading rider at this meet with 35 wins from 197 mounts. He trails only Ramon Dominguez (41 for 156) and Cornelio Velasquez (37 for 206) in the standings.

On Jan. 6, Alvarado was unseated from his mount Miss Dragon Lady, who clipped heels with another horse. On Jan. 14, Alvarado was dismounted when his horse, Hardshell, fell over Scorper, a horse who had broken down during the running of the race.

Alvarado did not a miss a full day of riding after either spill and won a race each day last week.

“It’s not like I got hurt really bad, so why not just keep riding,” Alvarado said Wednesday morning on the Belmont Park backside. “Nothing broken, nothing bad. Just keep working hard.”

Alvarado said the first spill was a little bit his mistake as he attempted to hold one rein with two hands to try and avoid clipping heels. He lost his balance and he fell. In the second instance it was another horse – not his – that broke down.

“If one of my horses broke down, maybe I would have been like a little more careful after that,” Alvarado said. “But I try not to think about it and keep riding like before.”

Alvarado reiterated his desire to make New York his full-time home even after big-name riders such as John Velazquez and Javier Castellano return from south Florida.

“It might get a little tough when those guys from Florida come back, but I’ll just keep going,” he said.

Mike Sellitto, Alavrado’s agent, believes it might actually get a little easier for Alvarado in the spring because many of his main clients – Bill Mott and Chad Brown – will have more horses based in New York than they currently do.