11/23/2012 7:14PM

Aqueduct: Ortiz hurts back in turf course spill

Tom Keyser
Irad Ortiz Jr. hits the ground after being unseated from his mount in Friday’s eighth race at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. has a bruised lower back but did not suffer any fractures as a result of a spill in which he was involved during the running of Friday's eighth race at Aqueduct.

Ortiz, 20, was to remain hospitalized overnight at Jamaica Hospital and be released on Saturday, according to his agent, Tony Micallef. He will not ride over the weekend.

Ortiz was aboard Irish Lion in Friday's eighth race, a $30,000 claiming event, when he got squeezed by Runaway Jim, under Rajiv Maragh, coming under the finish line the first time. Irish Lion stumbled and unseated Ortiz, who was catapulted into the air, landing on his back. He was fortunate not to have been hit by a trailing horse.

Ortiz was brought under the rail by emergency medical technicians and the race was completed without major incident, though the loose horse, Irish Lion, compromised the chances of several runners.

The stewards disqualified Runaway Jim from fifth and placed him last.

Ortiz was placed on a stretcher and put in one ambulance and was then transferred into a second ambulance in the barn area so that he could be taken to Jamaica Hospital.

According to Micallef, X-rays taken on Ortiz "were clean."

Micallef said that Ortiz would visit his personal doctor on Monday or Tuesday to determine when he would be able to return to race-riding.

Ortiz won the first two races on Friday's card, picking up mounts for Joel Rosario, who was late arriving back from Kentucky where on Thursday he won three races.

In his second year of riding, Ortiz has won 122 races from 1,210 mounts in 2012. His mounts have earned $7.9 million, which puts him 18th in the country.

Ortiz won the Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama aboard Questing, the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt with Poseidon's Warrior, and the Grade 2, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby aboard Handsome Mike.