02/25/2002 12:00AM

Azeff prognosis good, says Ward


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Yvonne Azeff, who spent nearly a month in a coma and then semi-consciousness after a pony fell on her during training hours at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26, has regained full consciousness. She recently spoke with her boss, trainer John Ward Jr., by telephone from her current residence at the Pine Crest Rehabilitation Center in Delray Beach.

"I told her I was sorry I hadn't been able to get over to see her for a few days, and she joked and said not to worry, that she wasn't going anywhere," said Ward. "She's mentally sharp and pretty conversational. She's on solid food and they've got her standing up now. Her attitude is really good and she understands the next phase of her recovery, the physical therapy, will be difficult."

Ward also said the prognosis for Azeff's recovery is extremely encouraging.

"The doctors said they are not putting any limitations on her recovery," said Ward. "That the sky was the limit. The first couple of months will be the hardest, although I wouldn't rule out the possibility that she could be sitting there with us at Churchill Downs to watch Booklet run in the Kentucky Derby."