07/04/2002 12:00AM

Philadelphia jockey unscathed


NEW YORK - Jockey Antonio Pena was back breezing horses on Thursday morning after narrowly escaping serious injury in a spill in Tuesday's fifth race at Philadelphia Park.

After the spill, Pena's condition appeared grave, and he needed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the way to the hospital. Once there, doctors said they feared he had a cervical spinal injury.

Pena was unseated at the start of a six-furlong sprint and was apparently kicked or kneed in the head by his horse just after he fell.

"The contact with the ground dislodged his helmet," said his agent, Jim Boulmetis, "and we don't know whether it was a hoof or a knee, but he was struck in the head. He also said the horse stepped on his left arm.

"They took X-rays of his neck and did the CAT scan, but everything came back negative," Boulmetis said. "He was a little woozy but complained more about his arm than anything else. He was feeling good enough that they released him that evening."

Pena had only one comment: "I've got a hard head."