07/19/2005 11:00PM

Finger Lakes rider guarded


Omar Camejo, the jockey injured in a spill at Finger Lakes racetrack on Tuesday, was in guarded condition Wednesday at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., with a punctured lung and three cracked ribs, according to a spokeswoman for Camejo's family.

The spokesperson, Julie Pierson, the fianc?e of Camejo's agent, Pedro Carrasquel, said that Camejo was communicating with his wife using hand signals on Wednesday morning.

Pierson said that Camejo did not suffer any head injuries in the accident, and that the rider was using his hands to communicate because of difficulty breathing because of the use of a respirator.

"He makes peace signs and the thumbs-up sign, things like that," Pierson said.

Doctors have not estimated when Camejo might be released from the intensive-care unit, Pierson said.

Camejo, 29, was injured when his mount, One El of a Lady, propped and jumped while in tight quarters, unseating the Camejo, who was struck by an oncoming horse.

New York covers jockeys' racetrack injuries under the state's workers' compensation program. The program has no upper limit for medical expenses.