08/27/2011 12:27PM

Presque Isle: Willie Martinez injured in spill


ERIE, Pa. - Willie Martinez, who recorded his 3,000th career win on Aug. 12, will be sidelined after being injured in an accident following Friday's third race at Presque Isle Downs. According to his agent, Doug Davis, Martinez had a puncture in one of his lungs and several broken ribs.

"They kept him overnight for observation, because of the puncture," Davis said Saturday by phone from the rider's bedside at Erie's UPMC Hamot. "But he's talking and will be walking away from this, probably today. He can sit up and move his head, his hands and his legs."

Martinez, 40, finished third on Bippity Bop in the $5,000 claiming race for fillies and mares. Daily Candy, who finished second, had been lugging out in the stretch and came over on Bippity Bop past the wire, causing that one to fall, throwing Martinez to the ground hard. Bippity Bop then rolled over the rider, but apparently with only her neck and head, not her body. She scampered off to be caught by the outrider while Martinez spent several anxious minutes on the ground before being stabilized for transport. 

Martinez is currently fourth in the local standings with 48 wins.