07/23/2003 12:00AM

Fairmount jockey critical after spill


COLLINSVILLE, Ill. - Jockey Chris Quinn is listed in critical, day-to-day condition at St. Louis University Hospital after a horrifying spill in Saturday's first race.

Quinn's mount, Willey Hunt, was racing in tight quarters entering the turn when he lost his path to rival Wesley U. Quinn attempted to hold his ground, but his mount clipped heels with Wesley U. Quinn was thrown to the right, then was trampled by the trailing Golden Fifty.

Quinn, 41, was rushed to Oliver Anderson Hospital in nearby Maryville, Ill., then flown to St. Louis University when the extent of his head injuries was determined. According to his fiancee, Sheila Meechum, Quinn is in a drug-induced coma. Hospital officials refused comment.

Wesley U was disqualified by the stewards, and his jockey, Argelio Velasquez, was given a three-day suspension.

* Trainer Eddie Weimer, 67, and 56-year-old jockey Gabe Rodriguez combined for back-to-back wins on last Friday's card over a track made sloppy by an afternoon thunderstorm of epic proportions. Impulsive Bachelor ($7.40) took the third race, and Weimer, electing not to run through the crowd on the grandstand apron to reach the winner's circle, climbed over the outside rail and took off. The mud was extremely deep, however, and Weimer became bogged down and fell face-first onto the track, then got up and walked the rest of the way.

Unperturbed by the incident, Weimer then saddled Home Early ($4.40) to win the fourth.

Rodriguez was not content with two wins, as he completed the hat trick by guiding Cart's Upper Crust ($7) to win the eighth for trainer Carmelo Mendoza.