07/03/2017 5:14PM

Butler, 2016's leading rider at Canterbury, out indefinitely

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Jockey Dean Butler is out of action indefinitely after being injured in a spill Friday night at Canterbury Park.

Butler, according to his agent Pete Antonucci, suffered compression fractures of three vertebrae when his mount in the fourth race, Valeski, broke down in the homestretch.

Butler, 46, was fortunate his injuries weren’t more severe. No surgery was required, and Butler was released from the hospital Sunday.

“It could have been career-ending,” Antonucci said.

Butler must see a doctor in a month to have the injury re-evaluated, and until that time, Antonucci said, it will be difficult to estimate how long he’ll be out of action.

Butler is a five-time riding champion at Canterbury and was leading jockey there during the 2016 meet.

Antonucci also represents jockey Orlando Mojica, and said that Mojica’s brother, Rafael, planned to shift his tack next week from Ellis Park to Canterbury, where Antonucci will serve as his agent.