08/19/2008 12:00AM

Exercise rider dies a day after spill


Parker Buckley III, a former jockey who had worked as an exercise rider for trainer Steve Asmussen, died Tuesday morning at Albany Medical Center due to complications from a riding accident he was involved in Monday at Saratoga. He was 40.

Buckley, a jockey from 1988 to 2007, rode 947 winners from 7,308 starters and his horses earned $9,215,235. Asmussen said that Buckley began working for him around Kentucky Derby time in 2007.

"Parker was a great guy,'" Asmussen said Tuesday."`I met him in 1987 at Birmingham Race Course. I never met anybody who didn't like him. He was loved by everybody who worked with him. He was an all-around great guy."

Buckley was galloping a horse for Asmussen Monday on the Oklahoma training track. Suddenly, at the five-furlong pole, Buckley was off his horse, though the details of what happened are unclear. Buckley appeared to be dazed and confused, and had some discoloration in his face. He was taken by ambulance to Saratoga Hospital.

According to Asmussen, a CAT scan performed on Buckley showed blood on the brain. Buckley was then taken by medivac to Albany Medical Center where he later slipped into a coma.