Updated on 09/17/2011 2:34PM

Wilson critical after spill


BALTIMORE - Veteran jockey Rick Wilson was critically injured Saturday at Pimlico Race Course when his mount in the day's second race, Advance to Go, stumbled badly at the start, then inadvertently struck Wilson in the head after the jockey was dislodged.

Wilson was taken by emergency helicopter to the University of Maryland's Shock-Trauma Center in downtown Baltimore, where his condition Saturday night was listed as critical.

Dr. Harry Harris, the medical director at Pimlico, said Wilson was treated for head and cervical trauma and suffered a significant loss of blood.

"He lost approximately a pint and a half of blood." Harris said. "It looked like [Advance to Go's] left hind leg hit him and snapped his head to one side."

Harris said Wilson was bleeding from his left temple. Mild pressure was used to staunch the bleeding. "You have to be careful, because if there are broken bones, you don't want to push them into the brain," Harris said.

Harris said Wilson never was conscious - he described Wilson as "waxing and waning" - and said Wilson only had "non-purposeful movement."

"When we first got to him, he was totally unconscious," Harris said. "He was breathing on his own volition. He was coming and going the whole time, coming in and out.

"There's nothing good about this," Harris said.

Wilson was first removed from the track on a stretcher after having his head and neck immobilized. He was taken by ambulance to an area on the backside near the three-furlong pole, where the emergency helicopter landed less than a half-hour after the accident.

Wilson, 50, has won 4,939 races to rank 20th all-time. His mounts have earned more than $77.2 million. Wilson won nine riding titles at Philadelphia Park, and in recent years was best known for riding the fleet filly Xtra Heat, on whom Wilson was 13 for 15. He was out of action for 54 weeks, until October 2002, after fracturing his leg in an accident at Pimlico. Wilson and his wife, Jean, have four children and live in Sykesville, Md.

The second race was at 1 1/16 miles, so it started right in front of the stands. Because Wilson was laying prone on the track while the race was being run, the four remaining runners in the race were flagged down at the top of the stretch by outriders and forced to pull up. The race was declared no-contest. All wagers solely involving the second race were refunded. In multiple-race wagers, such as the pick three and daily double, all runners, including Advance to Go, were considered winners.