03/06/2006 1:00AM

Golden Gate rider has pneumonia


Jockey Sunny Ho, hospitalized since last Wednesday with a head injury after a spill at Golden Gate Fields, continues to show improvement but has developed pneumonia, according to Golden Gate's track physician, Dr. David Seftel. Seftel said that Ho remained in the intensive care unit of Highland Hospital in Oakland, Calif.

Ho, 44, showed no signs of a concussion or head injury immediately after the spill, which came when his mount broke down during Wednesday's seventh race. After being examined by Seftel and complaining only of shoulder soreness, Ho showered and was being taken to a Berkeley, Calif., hospital by groom Augie Meza. As they were leaving the parking lot, Ho complained of a sudden headache and nausea. Meza brought Ho back to Seftel's office, where Ho stopped breathing but was revived by Seftel.

After initial hospital tests revealed bleeding in the brain, Ho was transferred to Highland, where he underwent surgery.

A fund for Ho's family has been set up at Golden Gate Fields. Contributions can be sent to Sunny Ho, c/o paymaster of purses, Golden Gate Fields, 1100 Eastshore Hwy., Berkeley, CA 94710.