05/22/2002 12:00AM

Injured Kuntzweiler out 12 weeks


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Jockey Greta Kuntzweiler is expected to be out of action about three months after having suffered a compressed vertebra in a Tuesday morning spill during training hours at Churchill Downs.

Kuntzweiler, 26, was aboard a Greg Foley-trained horse who was pulling up from a gallop when the horse suddenly stumbled and fell, throwing her. Both horse and rider soon got to their feet and appeared okay, but Kuntzweiler's agent, John Herbstreit, convinced her to go to nearby Caritas Medical Center for an evaluation.

"She was holding her back, and she just thought she hurt a muscle or something," said Herbstreit. But X-rays revealed a single compressed vertebra, and although no surgery will be required, Kuntzweiler will have to wear a back brace.

Kuntzweiler, a top apprentice in Kentucky in 1999-2000, won her first riding title at the 2002 winter-spring meet at Turfway Park. Herbstreit said he hoped she would be back in time for the Turfway fall meet, which begins Sept. 4.