07/01/2010 11:00PM

Leggett expected to recover from spine injury


Jockey Tad Leggett suffered a cervical, or upper, spine injury and fractured a vertebra Wednesday night in a spill at Fair Meadows in Tulsa and was scheduled to undergo surgery Friday afternoon in Oklahoma, said his agent, Cynthia Smith.

Leggett, 45, was injured in the third race, when he was thrown from his mount after the wire and the horse subsequently fell on him. Smith said one of Leggett's vertebra popped out during the accident, then went back into place. His surgery was to address the resulting ruptured tissue.

Smith said Leggett's surgery would take place at St. John's Hospital in Tulsa. Leggett was at the hospital's intensive care unit Friday.

"He has some feeling in his hands and feet," said Smith, who has been in contact with Leggett's wife, Tina. "They have been doing neurology tests to see if they can get any reaction, and there is reaction. There's not much feeling, but they think that's based on his swelling. Tina said they're looking for a full recovery."

Leggett won the Grade 1, $250,000 Remington Park Invitational Championship in May with Jess You and I, and the win earned the horse a berth to the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in December.

Another popular win for Leggett came last month with Got Country Grip, the paint horse who won the first 16 races of his career. Leggett rode him for the first time in an allowance at Fair Meadows on June 19 and was excited about riding him back in a stakes at the track Saturday, Smith said.

Smith said Leggett has been surrounded by family and has had a flood of visitors at St. John's.