02/13/2013 4:59PM

Laurel Park: Jose Ortiz avoids serious injury in spill


Apprentice jockey Jose Ortiz, the second-leading rider in the country in purse money won in 2013, sustained cuts on his hand and nose and has a sore back, but otherwise appeared to escape serious injury as a result of being involved in a three-horse spill Wednesday at Laurel Park.

Two other riders involved in the spill, J.D. Acosta and Julian Pimentel, also appeared to escape unscathed. Acosta rode his other mount on the card, while Pimentel was taken to First-Aid and was taken off his remaining mounts.

Ortiz will not ride Thursday at Laurel as scheduled, and thereafter is day to day, according to his agent, Jim Riccio Jr. Ortiz is named to ride Friday at Aqueduct.

Bootsie Bray, the horse Acosta was riding, broke down nearing the five-sixteenths pole of the opening race. Tale of the Dragon ran into Bootsie Bray, unseating Ortiz. Onegreatstep, a stablemate of Bootsie Bray, also ran into Bootsie Bray, unseating Pimentel.

Ortiz was taken by ambulance to Howard County General Hospital, where X-rays were negative. He was expected to be released late Thursday afternoon or evening and was to spend the night at a hotel in Maryland.

Through Tuesday, Ortiz ranked second in the country in purse money won with $1,560,711 and third in the country in wins with 40 through the first six weeks of 2013.

At Aqueduct, Ortiz is the second leading rider at the inner track meet with 47 wins – the meet began last Dec. 12 – five fewer than his older brother Irad.

On dark days in New York – such as Wednesday – Jose Ortiz has frequently ridden at Parx Racing or Laurel to take advantage of his remaining time as an apprentice. Ortiz, who in July sustained multiple injuries including a punctured lung in a spill on closing day of the Belmont spring/summer meet, has his apprenticeship through mid-March.