Updated on 02/26/2016 9:47AM

Two jockeys sidelined after Gulfstream spill

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Barbara D. Livingston
From left, jockeys Joel Rosario, Rafael Hernandez, and Edgard Zayas lay on the turf after a spill in the Melody of Colors.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Jockeys Rafael Hernandez and Joel Rosario will be sidelined indefinitely after being injured in a frightening chain-reaction spill that took place in early stretch of Saturday’s Melody of Colors Stakes.

Hernandez broke several ribs, fractured a collarbone, and sustained internal injuries that required surgery Sunday to remove one of his kidneys. He remained in intensive care at Hollywood Memorial East Hospital as of Monday. Rosario underwent surgery Monday to repair a broken wrist. Edgard Zayas, who also was involved in the incident, took off his mounts here Sunday due to a swollen ankle but was expected to be back Wednesday.

Hernandez was aboard Brandy’s Girl, who fell after appearing to be bumped by the pacesetting More Royalty in early stretch of the Melody of Colors on the Gulfstream grass course. Rosario’s mount, Kandoo, also went down when she tripped over the prone Brandy’s Girl. Zayas was unseated after his mount, Hi Holiday, swerved sharply while attempting to avoid the two downed horses.

Kandoo had to be euthanized on the track. Brandy’s Girl and Hi Holiday appeared to escape unscathed.

“It’s a standard fracture like anyone would get trying to escape a fall,” said Rosario’s agent, Ron Anderson. “They’ll put a plate in to speed up the healing. He should be out about four to five weeks. He was very lucky it’s not worse. Joel’s helmet split right in two, so that helmet did its job. It probably saved his life.”

Cliff Collier, Hernandez’s agent, said, “There is no damage to the spine. That’s the good news, but he’s in a lot of pain, and he’s going to be in the hospital for a while.”

Rosario is the regular rider for Awesome Speed, one of the favorites in Saturday’s Fountain of Youth Stakes, and Economic Model, who is scheduled to run next month in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. He will be replaced on both mounts by Irad Ortiz Jr., according to Alan Goldberg, who trains Awesome Speed, and Chad Brown, who conditions Economic Model.

Zayas had to give up the mount Sunday on the undefeated Off the Tracks, an easy winner of the Margate Handicap under replacement rider Tyler Gaffalione.

Dylan143f More than 1 year ago
Drifting out slightly... That is all it takes, for an accidents to happen. Puzzling: No DQ, No suspension. I guess it's ok to interfere with other horses as long as it's slightly. Fans and owners cheated.
Dylan143f More than 1 year ago
Drifting out slightly... That is all it takes, for an accidents to happen. Puzzling: No DQ, No suspension. I guess it's ok to interfere with other horses as long as it's slightly.
James More than 1 year ago
yea people think they have tough jobs most people have no idea what these brave men indure just to stay at the weight let alone get up on an animal of that size going what 40 mph or so they risk theyre lives every time they get on a horse and they dont get paid enough no way its enough they sure have my respect and admiration thats for sure all the best to them and theyre families
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
scary
John More than 1 year ago
Jockeys are the greatest athletes in the world.
Steve Wilson More than 1 year ago
I don't know about best athletes John, but I've always said that pound for pound they are the toughest people in the world.
Doug More than 1 year ago
BY FAR
Daniel More than 1 year ago
These jockeys are well paid, but they are brave warriors everyday they compete on the track! A speedy recovery to all!