09/09/2012 9:55AM

Belmont Park: Alvarado fractures collarbone in spill

Barbara D. Livingston
Junior Alvarado fractured his collarbone in a spill Saturday at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey Junior Alvarado, enjoying the best year of his career, will miss at least a month after suffering a hairline fracture of his collarbone in a spill Saturday at Belmont Park.

It is the second time in 16 months that Alvarado fractured his collarbone. On May 27, 2011, in a spill at Arlington Park, Alvarado broke his collarbone and missed five weeks.

Alvarado was expected to meet with his personal doctor Monday to get a better idea of how much time he will miss, according to his agent, Mike Sellitto.

Alvarado, 26, was aboard Palace in Saturday’s seventh race at Belmont when that horse, who was bumped by an outside horse, fell, hurling Alvarado hard to the Belmont turf course. The horse then stepped on Alvarado, who was removed from the track on stretcher and transported to North Shore University Hospital, where X-rays revealed the fracture.

Alvarado, a native of Venezuela, has won 137 races this year – second only to the 162 he won last year – and his horses have earned $8,234,955, which ranks him 10th nationally. The earnings are a single-year best for Alvarado, who began riding in the United States in 2007. Alvarado was the leading rider at Arlington Park in 2009.

In his first full season riding at Saratoga, Alvarado finished in a tie for sixth in the standings with 23 victories. He won six stakes at the meet, including the Grade 1 Prioress with Emma’s Encore and the Grade 2 Vagrancy on C.C.’s Pal.

Until now, Alvarado had been fortunate not to miss any significant time this year. During the winter meet at Aqueduct, Alvarado was unseated four times in the first five weeks of 2012, but was never sidelined.

On Aug. 20, at Saratoga, Alvarado escaped injury when his mount, Pete’s Parley, broke down in the stretch of a race. Alvarado was taken to Saratoga hospital, but was released two hours later and rode the next day.