07/24/2011 9:32PM

Del Mar: Terrifying three-horse spill sends Espinoza to hospital


DEL MAR, Calif. -- Jockey Victor Espinoza has been taken to nearby Scripps Encinitas Hospital for X-rays of an ankle following a terrifying, three-horse spill in the final race on Sunday at Del Mar.

Espinoza was aboard Be Driven, who was midpack in the 12-horse field of $16,000 female claimers when she suffered a catastrophic fracture to her left front leg as the field neared the three-furlong mark of the six-furlong race.

Bonita Montana, with Martin Pedroza aboard, collided with Be Driven and fell, dislodging Pedroza, and then Katy’s Kitty, who was near the back of the pack, clipped the fallen Bonita Montana and sent jockey Joel Rosario flying through the air.

Although Rosario appeared to land heavily on his back, both he and Pedroza returned to the jockeys’ room without need of further treatment at that time.

Be Driven was euthanized. The other two horses were apparently not seriously injured, track officials said.

Be Driven, a 5-year-old mare trained by Sam Scolamieri, was making her first start since July 2010. She had won once in seven starts.

The fatal injury to Be Driven was the first in a race this meet at Del Mar, which opened on Wednesday.