08/08/2005 12:00AM

Bailey injured by horse head-butt


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Jockey Jerry Bailey was forced to take off his final two mounts Monday after suffering an injury to his nose when the horse he was to ride in the fourth race, Performing Diva, head-butted him during the post parade.

Bailey, who received some stitches from Dr. Rick Alfred on track, was scheduled to get X-rays on Tuesday at Albany Medical Center. Performing Diva, a juvenile filly trained by Bill Mott who was making her debut, ran off and was scratched.

"She threw her head back and head-butted me in the face," Bailey said. "She won, I lost."

Alfred, said Bailey, "doesn't think it's broken, and I don't either, but I don't have a frame of reference. It's pretty swollen right now."

Before the outrider apprehended Performing Diva, the filly was running along the outside rail and right to where Bailey had walked to await the ambulance. Bailey was forced to jump the outside rail to avoid the horse.

"I wasn't aware of it until the crowd started yelling," Bailey said. "I thought they were yelling for the ambulance, but when I looked again, I saw the horse and I thought I better get on the other side of this rail."

Bailey said he would wait to see how he feels before deciding whether to ride his five scheduled mounts Wednesday.

The injury comes less than 24 hours after Bailey had an adventurous trip from New York to New Jersey to ride Roman Ruler to victory in the $1 million Haskell. After riding First Samurai to victory in Saratoga, Bailey caught a private plane from Saratoga Airport that was supposed to take him to Monmouth Executive Airport, but that airport was closed because of a crash.

Bailey had to fly to Teterboro Airport and then take a helicopter from Teterboro to Monmouth. Monmouth officials and travel agent William "Stretch" Johnson were able to organize a helicopter for Bailey in 15 minutes. Bailey arrived at the Monmouth jockey's room in time to keep all his engagements.