04/28/2015 5:06PM

Pimlico: Russell improving after spill


Sheldon Russell, who fractured ribs and punctured a lung in a Saturday spill at Pimlico, was feeling better and in good spirits on Tuesday, according to his agent, Marty Leonard.

Russell had a tough day Monday, according to Leonard, after doctors had to insert a tube to drain fluid from a lung. But Russell felt good enough Monday evening to get out of bed and walk around his wing of Sinai Hospital, which is located near Pimlico.

Leonard was hopeful that Russell could be released from the hospital in two to three days.

Russell suffered an injury similar to this five years ago, according to Leonard.

Russell was injured in the fifth race Saturday, a five-furlong turf sprint for $20,000 claiming horses. He was running near the back of the pack nearing the turn when a horse along the inside, S S Skittles, lugged out, forcing Who Dat Boy into Russell’s mount, Political Farce. Russell’s mount appeared to clip heels and fell.

Russell, 27, was the leading rider at the Laurel Park winter-spring meet, which concluded March 29, and is fourth in the Pimlico standings. He won his 1,000th career race March 7.

Pimlico: First 2-year-old race of the season

The Thursday card at Pimlico starts off with the first 2-year-old race of the Maryland season.

Both Dane Kobiskie and John Salzman Jr. have two-horse entries in the field of eight.

As always, be sure to take a look at trainer Jerry Robb’s entrant, Patrick Rocks. Robb has an excellent record with 2-year-olds and over the last five years is 62 for 257 (24 percent), with a positive return on investment of $2.18, according to DRF Formulator.

His record with 2-year-olds making their first starts is slightly better over the last five years. He is 11 for 43 (26 percent), with an ROI of $2.76.

Robb purchased Patrick Rocks for $18,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale at Timonium, Md., in September. His sire, Awesome of Course, was a fast son of Awesome Again who won an allowance race at Saratoga and the Inaugural Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs as a 2-year-old of 2002 and two Calder stakes at 3.

Awesome of Course is the sire of Awesome Feather, who was 6 for 6 as a 2-year-old and won 10 of 11 career starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and Grade 1 Gazelle. He also is the sire of Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship winner Fort Loudon. Both Awesome Feather and Fort Loudon swept their divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes series as 2-year-olds.

Thursday’s card at Pimlico also includes a first-level turf allowance at 1 1/16 miles (race 8) and a second-level optional-claiming turf sprint (race 6). The fields for the 10-cent Rainbow 6 (races 4-9) and the 12-percent-takeout pick five (races 5-9) all have at least 10 horses entered.

◗ Jockey Taylor Hole, who rides at Pimlico, is four wins away from his 2,000th career victory.