04/09/2015 8:16PM

Jockey Angel Cruz uninjured in spill

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NYRA
Jockey Angel Cruz escaped injury after being involved in a spill Thursday at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, NY - Apprentice jockey Angel Cruz escaped injury after being involved in a spill during the running of Aqueduct's eighth race Thursday and hopes to ride Friday at Aqueduct.

He most certainly will be back by Saturday when he is scheduled to ride Bridget's Big Luvy in the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.

On Thursday, Cruz was aboard Black Friday Rush in Aqueduct's eighth race. Around the far turn, a horse stopped in front of him and Black Friday Rush clipped heels and went down, unseating Cruz. Black Friday Rush, trained by Joe Orseno, got up and ran free before bring apprehended by an outrider. He was uninjured.

Cruz was taken off the track on a stretcher and transported to nearby Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where it was believed that he was being examined for a possible head injury.

At the hospital, Cruz was alert and smiling and at one point asked for chicken. He had no abrasions on his face or head.

Cruz was awaiting the results of some bloodwork and was expected to be released later Thursday evening. Cruz still needs clearance from the track doctor to ride Friday.

Cruz, 20, is the leading rider at the Aqueduct spring meet, with 10 winners from 31 mounts. He's had three three-win days from the first six days of the meet.

Cruz, a finalist for the Eclipse Award as North America's leading apprentice rider in 2014, was the fourth leading rider during Aqueduct's inner track meet.