07/13/2003 11:00PM

Jockey gets $3M settlement


PHOENIX - Nearly three years after an accident at now-defunct Prescott Downs left her permanently disabled, jockey Stacy Burton reached a $3 million settlement with the state of Arizona in a lawsuit she filed over the incident.

Burton was riding Lot O Love in a $2,000 claimer on Aug. 26, 2000. Another horse, Pacific Wind, fell on the sloppy track during the race, got up, and then started to run the wrong way. This led to a head-on collision with Lot O Love and Burton. Both horses died on the scene, and Burton was in a coma for 23 days.

Burton, now 40, suffered severe brain damage and requires full-time care.

Her suit alleged that the racetrack was too dangerous for the races to be run safely after severe summer rains made the track extremely sloppy. The suit said Burton relied on the track to cancel the races and that the state shared responsibility, since the Arizona Racing Commission employed the stewards who supervise the races and could make the cancellation decision.