08/08/2001 11:00PM

Dunkelberger breaks collarbone


Jockey Travis Dunkelberger, the nation's leader rider in wins by a narrow margin, broke his collarbone Wednesday night in the seventh race at Charles Town and is expected to be sidelined for at least four to six weeks.

On Thursday, Dunkelberger, 24, said his mount, Southern Trail, stumbled and broke his leg, tossing the rider to the ground near the sixteenth pole.

Dunkelberger said he was scheduled to meet with a doctor Friday morning to see if the break required surgery.

"In my opinion it probably will need [surgery] because it's separated," Dunkelberger said.

The rider was second in the standings at Charles Town at the time of the spill. A perennial leader at Charles Town, Dunkelberger also rode on the Maryland circuit during the day for trainer Dale Capuano, who is third in the country in races won.

The sidelined Dunkelberger, who has 259 wins this year and is chasing his first national riding title, will be overtaken by Ramon Dominguez, who trailed him by only one win going into Thursday.

"I really can't take that into play right now," Dunkelberger said. "I'm having fun [riding] and can't do it right now. I can't be disappointed."