02/02/2005 12:00AM

Boulanger showing improvement

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Jockey Gary Boulanger's condition has been upgraded from critical to serious as the injured rider continues to show signs of improvement after undergoing emergency surgery at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., on Sunday evening to remove his spleen and a blood clot in his brain.

"He was taken off the respirator and is breathing on his own," Boulanger's agent, Cory Moran, said late Wednesday morning. "He even was able to talk briefly with his wife, Lisa, today. He's slowly recovering, and we're all delighted in the improvement we've been seeing. It's very encouraging."

Boulanger was injured when his mount, In Hand, broke down during the running of Sunday's Mac Diarmida Handicap at Gulfstream Park.