06/26/2014 9:49AM

Ortiz expected to ride Thursday after three-horse spill


ELMONT, N.Y. – Irad Ortiz Jr., who was taken to North Shore Hospital following an ugly three-horse spill in Wednesday's eighth race at Belmont Park, was released that evening without any serious injuries and amazingly was expected to ride Thursday, according to his agent, Steve Rushing.

"I just spoke with Irad," Rushing said Thursday morning. "He feels good and plans to ride."

Ortiz was aboard Roses for Romney in the seven-furlong race over the Widener turf. She was back in the pack along the inside when she clipped heels and fell heavily to the ground, suffering a fatal injury. Roses for Romney raced for Lawrence Goichman and trainer Christophe Clement.

When Roses for Romney fell, she wiped out Ear D' Rhythm, who also fell and threw jockey Cornelio Velasquez to the turf. Violet Hour could not avoid the fallen horses in front of her and also fell, losing her rider, John Velazquez. Ear D' Rhythm is trained by Rudy Rodriguez, and Violet Hour is trained by Todd Pletcher.

Velasquez and Velazquez were both checked out at Belmont's first-aid department and cleared to ride.

Ear D' Rhythm and Violet Hour each got to their feet after the spill, ran off, and were caught. On Thursday morning, it appeared neither was seriously injured.

Ear D' Rhythm had some "little cuts," according to Rodriguez, who said he didn't think she would be away that long.

Violet Hour emerged from the incident "unscathed," according to Pletcher, who added, "We were very fortunate."