Jockey John Velazquez, who will be inducted into horse racing's Hall of Fame in August, will not need surgery to mend a broken collarbone he suffered during a frightening spill at Churchill Downs last Saturday.
Velazquez's wife, Leona, said in a statement released by the Jockeys' Guild that her husband conferred with two doctors in New York who advised against surgery.
"Physicians say his collarbone should heal in 4-6 weeks," she said. "He will go back to the doctor in two weeks for X-rays so doctors can check the progress of healing. Assuming satisfactory progress, Johnny will begin physical therapy at that time."
Velazquez was injured when his mount, Mr. Producer, fatally broke down during the stretch of the ninth race at Churchill Downs. The trailing horse, Lemansky, appeared to clip Velazquez as it stumbled. The Eclipse Award-winning rider also suffered a blow to his kidney.
Never miss a local story.
Velazquez, who guided Union Rags to victory in the Belmont Stakes, had ridden Wise Dan to a runner-up finish in the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap one race before the spill.
"Johnny will take it easy to let his injuries heal and he's anxious to get back to the track as soon as possible," Leona said.
Queen's Plate in jeopardy
The Queen's Plate is set for its 153rd running Sunday in Toronto, though this could be the last edition of North America's oldest continuously run stakes race.
The president and chief operating officer of Woodbine Entertainment Group says the future of the $1 million horse race is in doubt if the Ontario government doesn't change its plan to scrap its slot machine revenue-sharing program at provincial tracks in 2013.
Nick Eaves made the announcement at Thursday's post-position draw.
Earlier this year, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced he was axing the agreement that gives racetracks a cut of the slot profits, amounting to $345 million a year.
Eaves says he can't see how Ontario horse racing could survive without the program.
Stakes for Delahoussaye
Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye is getting his own race.
Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia, Calif., will feature the Grade III Eddie D. Stakes on opening day of the track's autumn meet on Sept. 28.
The 6½ -furlong race for 3-year-olds and up will be run on the turf. The race was previously known as the Morvich Stakes, which Delahoussaye won in 1984 aboard Tsunami Slew.
Delahoussaye, 60, says he's honored and his family is excited about the race. He retired in 2003 because of injury after a 34-year career. He is a racing and industry sales consultant.
Delahoussaye won the Kentucky Derby twice, the Preakness once and the Belmont Stakes twice.
Too hot for Belmont
Belmont Park canceled its Thursday program because of temperatures topping 90 degrees in the New York area. Racing is scheduled to resume on Friday.