Updated on 08/30/2013 9:18AM

Saratoga: Exercise rider Bulgado has fractured neck

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Raymond Bulgado, an exercise rider employed by trainer Nick Zito, suffered a fractured neck but did not sustain severe head trauma as the result of a spill during training hours Monday at Saratoga, according to a co-worker.

Bulgado remained hospitalized at Albany Medical Center on Tuesday in critical condition, according to hospital officials.

According to Maxine Correa, also an exercise rider for Zito, a member of the New York Racing Association’s chaplaincy, who had been in contact with the hospital and Bulgado’s family, visited the barn Tuesday morning to update Bulgado’s condition and told her that Bulgado did not suffer any “major head trauma.”

“He recognized his cousin who was visiting,” Correa said. “It is a relief, at the same time it’s such a downer. Thank God for Ray, he’s going to be okay.”

On Monday, Bulgado was aboard Ricochet Court who was working a half-mile in company on the Oklahoma turf course. Nearing the quarter pole, Ricochet Court suffered fractures of both forelegs and fell, hurling Bulgado to the hard turf. Bulgado lay on the course for several minutes before an ambulance was able to get to him.

Bulgado was removed from the course on a stretcher and taken to Saratoga Hospital, then airlifted to Albany Medical Center later on Monday.

Ricochet Court, a 3-year-old gelding by Doneraile Court, had to be euthanized.

For Correa and her co-workers, Tuesday morning was a difficult one at work.

“Today was just so quiet,” Correa said. “Looking over at the turf remembering that’s the spot where it happened and it’s all mangled up.”