09/07/2005 11:00PM

Hampshire OK after surgery

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Jockey Joe Hampshire underwent successful surgery Wednesday night to stabilize his spine following a spill in Monday's seventh race at Delaware Park.

The nine-time leading jockey at Suffolk Downs and third in the standings at Philadelphia Park, Hampshire fractured two vertebrae when his mount, Gold Reserve, clipped heels turning for home in a tightly packed allowance race on the turf course.

Hampshire's agent, George Kubica, said the initial prognosis was good and that there was the chance the 41-year-old jockey could be back in the saddle in six months.

"Medically, it's clear he's very lucky," said Kubica. "To break his back where he did, it's amazing he's not paralyzed."

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rush Fisher performed the operation at Christiana Care Hospital in Newark, Del. Fisher is the son of Mid-Atlantic trainer John R.S. Fisher.