07/28/2015 5:11PM

Charles Town jockey Thomas critical but stable after spill


Jockey Alex Thomas, who was badly injured in a four-horse spill in the first race at Charles Town last Saturday night, is in critical but stable condition in the trauma intensive care unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.

Thomas, 32, was thrown heavily to the ground when his mount, Quality Soldier, clipped the heels of Jayden’s Nightmare and fell nearing the backstretch. Three horses behind Quality Soldier also fell. Jayden’s Nightmare went on to win the race but was disqualified to last for coming inward into the path of Quality Soldier.

Thomas was originally taken to Jefferson Medical Center in Charles Town, W.Va., but was transferred to Inova Fairfax.

Thomas suffered multiple injuries in the spill, including facial fractures, eight broken ribs on his left side, six broken ribs on his right side, a broken collarbone, two collapsed lungs, and a fracture of the C-4 vertebra in the back of his neck, according to his mother, Melissa Young.

The fractured vertebra did not affect his spinal column and his injuries are not considered life threatening, according to Young.

A Facebook page – Alex C. Thomas Road to Recovery – has been created to update Thomas’s condition. People can leave messages to Thomas on the page and there is a PayPal link for anyone interested in making a donation to help with Thomas’s personal expenses while he recovers.

Thomas has ridden horses all his life, according to his mother, but just began riding in races last year. He has nine career wins.

Thomas is from Upperville, Va., where his family lived on Paul Mellon’s Rokeby Farm. Thomas’s father, Vernon, worked with Mellon’s yearlings.

Thomas has several siblings, including Jonathan Thomas, a former New York-based assistant for both Todd Pletcher and Christophe Clement. Jonathan, a former rider himself, now trains for Bridlewood Farm in Florida.