11/14/2007 12:00AM

Trainer kicked by filly faces costly recovery

EmailThis is the time of year when trainer Elaine Ferri starts making plans for the winter meet at her home track of Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. But she will be elsewhere this season. Ferri was kicked in the face by a 3-year-old filly in July in an accident that almost left her dead.

She has undergone three major stabilizing surgeries to address 100 facial fractures, and needs more reconstructive work. She also lost her left eye in the accident.

Ferri, 51, was at her parents' farm in Texarkana, Ark., when she was kicked. She was teaching a filly to accept a halter, but the horse slipped away from her, kicked out as she ran off, and caught Ferri.

"The whole left side of my face was just broken," she said. "They put me back together the best they could, to see if I would make it or not. They tried to save my eye."

The area around Ferri's prosthetic eye needs to be built out, she said. She also must have her nose rebuilt, because she is having trouble breathing. But Ferri, who has no medical insurance, said she must pay $100,000 in hospital bills from the initial surgeries.

"Right now, I'm so depressed over the whole situation," she said. "I can't get myself fixed or go any further until I get some help with funding. I have a sunken-in temple and a bone missing from my cheek. Before they proceed, they want something."

An account designated to help with Ferri's medical costs and future surgeries has been set up at Century Bank in Texarkana, Ark., and Northfield Savings in Staten Island, N.Y. Ferri, who can be reached at (501) 620-0576 or elfstable@yahoo.com, said she is currently seeking surgeon referrals.

"I'm obviously a charity case," she said.

Ferri is unable to train, and has turned her horses over to trainer John Barger. It is the first time since she was 22 that she has not been active in racing. Ferri trained in New York and New Jersey before returning to her home region in 2000. Her best runners include Chanel's Titanic, a track-record holder at Delaware Park who won 11 races and $249,976, and Flying Gal, who captured the Cimarron at Remington Park in 2001.

Delta Downs: Costa Rising returning

Costa Rising, who owns one of the year's best Beyer Speed Figures, will make his first start since September in Saturday night's $100,000 Gold Cup at Delta Downs. The 1 1/16-mile race is one of four Louisiana-bred stakes on the card. The races are expected to produce starters for the Louisiana Champions Day program at Fair Grounds on Dec. 8.

Costa Rising last raced on turf, finishing sixth in the $200,000 Unbridled Breeders' Cup at Louisiana Downs. Before that, he won an allowance at Evangeline with a Beyer Figure of 118, which ranks as the year's third highest at a mile or shorter. For the Gold Cup, a race Costa Rising won last year, he drew post 6 in a field of six when entries for the race were taken Wednesday. Trainer Glenn Delahoussaye has given the mount to Kerwin Clark.

Lone Star: Mixed sale on Dec. 9

A catalog of 187 broodmares, weanlings, yearlings, and horses of racing age has been issued for the Fasig-Tipton Texas sale to be held at Lone Star Park on Dec. 9.

The sale is sponsored by the Texas Thoroughbred Association, and it will begin at 11 a.m. Central.

* Going Ballistic is scheduled to ship from Remington to Churchill Downs on Friday, said his trainer, Donnie Von Hemel. The winner of the Super Derby and Oklahoma Derby, he will run next in the Grade 2 Clark on Nov. 23.

* Retama Park will run its popular "Fifty-Cent Night" promotion Friday and Saturday. It features reduced prices on different items, like select concessions. The meet closes Saturday.