04/21/2013 6:37PM

Pimlico: Leading rider Ortiz injured in spill that proves fatal to horse


Apprentice rider Yomar Ortiz, the leading jockey at Pimlico, was injured when he fell from his mount during the stretch run in Sunday’s fifth race.

Ortiz, 21, was riding Badon when his mount broke down closing in on the finish in the five-furlong turf race for $35,000 claimers. Ortiz was on the ground when he was struck by Gator Gone Wild, a trailing horse. He was taken to nearby Sinai Hospital for X-rays near the hip and femur areas on his left leg, according to Pimlico medical director Dr. Harry Harris.

Badon sustained a right ankle injury and was euthanized, according to Maryland Racing Commission veterinarian Dr. David Zipf.

Joe Kelly’s name added to press box

Pimlico’s press box was renamed to include Joe Kelly, who covered horse racing for nearly 70 years prior to his death in November at the age of 94. The Red Smith-Joe Kelly Press Box will be at full capacity next month for the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes.

Kelly began his career at the Baltimore Sun in the 1940s,  then moved to the Washington Star in 1955,  where he spent the next 26 years. After retiring, he became the publicity director for the Maryland Million and was Pimlicos’s historical consultant until his death.

Twenty-members of the Kelly family, including five of his six children and four of his five grandchildren attended the dedication before Sunday’s first race.

“This truly is a great honor for him,” said Kelly’s son Jacques. “He spent 69 years in this press box and adored Pimlico. For him, Pimlico was a very personal place. Joe had a fabulous memory and always had stories to tell about it. Just when you thought you heard them all, you heard one more.”