Updated on 09/17/2011 12:11PM

Three horses dead in spill


DEL MAR, Calif. - Jockeys Tyler Baze, Anthony Lovato, and Jose Silva suffered significant injuries and three horses perished in a terrifying five-horse accident in Monday's fourth race at Del Mar.

Baze, according to track officials, fractured the big toe of his left foot, as well as a bone at the top of that foot. He is expected to be out for at least three weeks. Baze, 20, was the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey of 2000.

Both Lovato and Silva fractured the L-1 lumbar vertebra at the base of their spine. They are expected to be out longer than Baze, but are expected to ride again.

Two other riders, David Flores and apprentice Mick Ruis, were involved in the accident. Both suffered bruises.

Flores, 35, took off one mount on Monday, rode a subsequent race, but then took off his final mount of the day, complaining of soreness in his right shoulder. He is expected to be able to ride this weekend, when his mounts include Sulamani in Saturday's Arlington Million.

Ruis, 16, bruised his left ankle, but he came back to win the eighth and final race on the card, his first victory at Del Mar. Ruis, a native of nearby Poway, Calif., won his first race on June 19 at Hollywood Park.

Lovato, 33, and Silva, 38, remained overnight at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla and were expected to stay there for several days. Tommy Ball, the jockey agent for Lovato, said his rider "will probably have to wear a plastic brace" around his waist while recuperating.

"It could have been a lot worse," Ball said Tuesday morning.

The race was at six furlongs for $10,000 claiming horses. As the field passed the three-furlong pole, Lovato's mount, Mr. Powerful, broke his left front leg while racing in third place and fell to the track. Kiss an Angel, ridden by Baze, and The Station, ridden by Flores, then grazed Mr. Powerful while awkwardly sidestepping him. Both jockeys came off their mounts, but the horses did not go down and continued to the finish without their riders.

Jentzen, ridden by Silva, crashed sickeningly into the prone Mr. Powerful, as did Ruis's mount, Pacific Pride.

Jentzen broke his back in the accident. Pacific Pride broke his right shoulder when he fell. Those two were euthanized, as was Mr. Powerful.

Mr. Powerful, a 4-year-old gelding, by Clever Trick, had won twice in 17 lifetime starts entering Monday's race. He had competed in four consecutive races for an $8,000 claiming price at Hollywood Park's recently concluded meeting. He lost all four races, finishing second, third, fourth, and seventh. He was fourth of seven in his most recent start, July 16. Mr. Powerful was trained by Bob Hess Jr.