04/15/2011 4:34PM

Aqueduct: Samyn wins first race back since snowblower accident

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Jean Luc-Samyn, riding for the first time since losing parts of two fingers in a snowblower accident in February, wins his first race back on Friday at Aqueduct.

Jockey Jean Luc-Samyn rode his 2,612th career winner Friday at Aqueduct. It may go down as one of his most memorable victories.

The ride on Belongs to Sheila in a $15,000 claiming race was Samyn’s first since he lost two fingers on his right hand in a snow blower accident at his home on Feb. 21. After saving ground early, Samyn guided Belongs to Sheila widest of all in the stretch and went to his left-handed stick to get the 4-year-old colt up by a neck at the wire. Belongs to Sheila returned $14.

“I’m whipping left-handed, I’m thinking `Oh my God this is great,’ ” Samyn said. “I said I hope Allen Jerkens is watching the race because all the time he tells me about hitting left-handed.

“I said this is great, this is just fabulous, and then you’re pushing, and you’re riding … Nothing like winning, you know? That’s why I’m back.’’

Samyn credited trainer Ramon Hernandez for giving him the ride on Belongs to Sheila.

“All the credit goes to Mr. Hernandez for being willing to give me a chance on my first horse back,’’ Samyn said. “`He told me this horse would have a chance and he was right. That was very, very nice because it’s hard to hustle business. They all wait to see what you can do but if they don’t give you a chance you’re not going to do nothing.’’

Samyn said without the index and middle fingers on his right hand, he will have to become more reliant on his ring finger on that hand as well as becoming more adroit at hitting left-handed.

“I have to make a few adjustments but it looks like I am on way to doing it,’’ Samyn said. “With practice you make perfect. At least it worked out well today and it showed I still have it in me.’’

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