08/23/2009 11:00PM

Louisiana Downs riders escape serious injury


All five riders that went down in a spill in the ninth race Sunday at Louisiana Downs avoided serious injuries in the incident, according to their agents. Jockey Lonnie Meche could be sidelined the longest. He was diagnosed with a crack in his collarbone, a fractured bone in one of his wrists, and he aggravated an old ankle injury, said his agent, Rick Mocklin.

The initial diagnosis is that Meche could be out five to six weeks, said Mocklin. Meche, along with Rico Flores, were taken to Christus Schumpert Health System in Shreveport, La., where they were treated and released. Flores has a small fracture in an ankle, said his agent, Wayne Lumpkin. He said the rider is scheduled to see a specialist, and that the initial word is that Flores could miss three to four weeks of action.

"He'll go to an orthopedic specialist and we'll get more details," said Lumpkin.

Patrick Valenzuela and Francisco Torres were taken to Willis-Knighton Health System in Bossier City, La., and both were released Sunday. David Heitzmann, the agent for Valenzuela, said the rider X-rayed clean. He said that Valenzuela was body sore, and that he would be checking in with him over the next few days to see if he will be riding Thursday, which is the next race day at Louisiana Downs.

Torres also X-rayed clean, said his agent, Derek Ducoing. He said Torres was experiencing some soreness, but that as of Monday he expected him to be ready to ride Thursday.

Jockey E.J. Perrodin walked away from the incident and is expected to ride Thursday.

Haran, who was with the pace under Valenzuela, took a bad step in the mile and a sixteenth maiden claimer on turf and broke down. Get the Prize, who was ridden by Torres, fell over Haran, while Meche, Perrodin, and Flores were all thrown as their mounts jumped the horses as part of the chain-reaction incident.