06/12/2006 12:00AM

Rider in intensive care


Jockey Chance Rollins remains in a California intensive care unit but showed signs of mild improvement Monday following a spill in Sunday's third race at Bay Meadows.

Rollins, 36, was injured when his mount, Dr. Ramos, suddenly veered to the rail shortly after the start of a 1 1/16-mile race. Rollins, forced to bail off, was able to get one foot on the safety rail before somersaulting off the rail and landing heavily on his side just inside the rail.

The Bay Meadows track physician, Dr. David Seftel, and paramedics reached him quickly, finding him unconscious and not breathing. Seftel resuscitated Rollins, who was then transferred to Stanford Hospital.

"This was similar to a car slamming into a wall at 25 miles an hour," Seftel said.

Rollins began to experience bleeding in the brain after arriving at the hospital, but multiple MRI's showed no tears to the carotid artery, and doctors put the jockey under sedation and monitored his condition closely. Rollins did not have surgery.

The primary concern, Seftel said, has become the possible twisting and tearing of some nerve fibers in the brain.