Keeneland

Jockey seriously injured after fall

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Prominent jockey Rene Douglas was in fair condition Sunday, a day after being thrown from his horse during a race at Arlington Park in suburban Chicago, although two racing Web sites have reported he may have lost the use of his legs.

Douglas was aboard Born to Be during Saturday's Arlington Matron Handicap when the horse clipped heels with another horse and fell at the top of the stretch. Born to Be flipped and tossed Douglas over her head and she then landed on top of the rider.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital said Sunday afternoon that Douglas is in fair condition. Neither the hospital nor Arlington Park officials would release any details about his injuries.

However, Douglas' agent, Dennis Cooper, told the Web sites Thoroughbredtimes.com and Bloodhorse.com on Sunday that Douglas has extensive injuries to his neck and spinal cord and may lose the use of his legs.

"They said he has movement in his upper body, but they didn't think he'd walk again," Cooper told Thoroughbredtimes.com. "But again, in saying that they did say they couldn't be a million-percent sure, because of miracles and everything. They said they would not know for sure for 10 days to two weeks because of the swelling. They were hoping that the swelling and contusions were what was causing the paralysis. They didn't pull no punches when they said they didn't think he'd ever walk again.

"They also said stranger things have happened, and a guy with his fortitude and being that fit, obviously that's going to help."

Cooper also said Douglas sustained significant damage to his neck and broken ribs.

"They didn't really get into that, just like if you would have said he broke the tip of his finger. They didn't even talk about it," Cooper told Thoroughbredtimes.com. "Any other time, if that was what he had broken it would have been serious enough, but they didn't get into all of that."

Douglas has 3,587 North American victories, including the 2006 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies aboard Dreaming of Anna and the 1996 Belmont Stakes on Editor's Note.

Douglas lives in Miami with his wife, Natalia, and his sons, Michael, Giancarlo and Christian.

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