04/09/2009 11:00PM

Dunkelberger sidelined with injured neck


Travis Dunkelberger, one of the top jockeys at Charles Town, will be sidelined indefinitely after sustaining a neck injury in a spill during training hours Wednesday.

Dunkelberger, 31, will be out three to six months with a possible fracture in his neck, according to his agent, Billy Kennedy. Kennedy said the injury occurred when a horse Dunkelberger was exercising for trainer Gary Capuano broke down.

According to Kennedy, doctors checking the CAT scan performed on Dunkelberger originally believed the images showed an old injury. Doctors now feel Dunkelberger may actually have a new fracture in the same area as a neck injury sustained years ago.

Kennedy said Dunkelberger has been able to walk the hallways at Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Va., and is in good spirits, though disappointed he will miss next Saturday's four stakes at Charles Town, including a mount on Cowgirls Don't Cry, a leading contender in the $250,000 Sugar Maple Stakes.

Dunkelberger, the third leading rider in the nation in 2001 when he won 395 races, ranks third in the current Charles Town standings with 42 winners. He rode winners on each of his final two mounts last Sunday, the last time he competed.