11/27/2010 6:24PM

Jockey critical after Aqueduct spill


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Apprentice jockey Jason Gracia was listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center with a concussion and broken ribs after being thrown from his mount in Saturday's third race at Aqueduct, according to his agent, Jorge Velasquez.

Meanwhile, fellow rider Jose Bermudez, who was involved in the same spill, was undergoing tests at North Shore Medical Center, complaining of rib soreness, according to New York Racing Association officials.

Gracia, 28, needed to be sedated, according to Velasquez, and was to stay overnight in the Jamaica hospital.

"He's under sedation because when he woke up he was fighting the collar they had to put on him," said Velasquez, a Hall of Fame jockey. "They had to sedate him so he could relax and they could do a CAT scan. Eventually, he's going to be okay."

Velasquez confirmed that Gracia also required tubes be placed in his chest to remove fluid from his lungs.

Gracia was aboard Ryan and Jack, a 4-year-old gelding when the horse stumbled and fell, hurling Gracia to the ground. Gracia may have also hit part of the portable rail when he fell. Meanwhile, Bermudez was unseated and sent flying head over heels when his mount, October Dreams, barreled into Ryan and Jack. Ryan and Jack suffered a fractured skull and was euthanized, according to track officials. October Dreams got up and galloped through the stretch before being apprehended by an outrider and did not appear to suffer any serious injuries.

Gracia was unconscious while being removed from the track on a stretcher, but did regain consciousness before he got to the emergency room, according to NYRA officials. Bermudez never lost consciousness.
Gracia is a seven-pound apprentice who has 5 wins from 278 mounts. He began riding in August 2009 at Saratoga and won his first race in April at Aqueduct. He has ridden mostly in New York and New Jersey.

Bermudez, 41, began riding 1987 and has 1,070 wins from 9,185 career mounts.