06/11/2006 12:00AM

Jockey Rollins critically injured


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Jockey Chance Rollins was in critical condition in Stanford Hospital suffering from bleeding in his brain stem in the back of his brain after being thrown over the rail during Sunday's third race at Bay Meadows.

The 36-year-old rider was aboard odds-on favorite Dr. Ramos when the 5-year-old gelding veered in sharply in the opening eighth of a mile just before the 15/16ths pole. Rollins appeared to bail off the runner and landed with one foot on the safety rail before somersaulting and falling on his side on the hardpan dirt inside the rail.

Rollins was unconscious and not breathing when track physician Dr. David Seftel and paramedics reached him. Dr. Seftel resuscitated him, and the rider was conscious and able to move his limbs before being taken to Stanford Hospital for a CAT scan and X-rays.

At the hospital, bleeding began to occur in his brain, and he was being monitored closely. He was to undergo an MRI to determine if a tear in the carotid artery was causing the bleeding and also to check for a possible neck fracture.

The brain stem is responsible for the heart rate and breathing. Rollins was being helped to breathe mechanically and was undergoing critical cardiac monitoring to avoid possible cardiac instability.

Rollins was fourth in the Bay Meadows standings with 19 victories.