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Injury to Pincay's Back to Keep Him Out a Month

December 29, 1987|BILL CHRISTINE | Times Staff Writer

Laffit Pincay, whose mounts have earned more purse money than any other jockey, suffered a broken vertebra in a spill Sunday at Santa Anita and will be sidelined about a month, his physician said Monday.

Pincay, the lifetime purse leader with a total of more than $127 million and third in this year's Daily Racing Form standings with more than $11.7 million, was unseated just as he and a 2-year-old filly, May First, left the gate in Sunday's third race.

Barely conscious, Pincay was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for scrapes and bruises to the face.

After being released late Sunday, Pincay saw Dr. Robert Kerlan Monday. Kerlan said that the jockey suffered a compressed fracture of the 12th vertebra, which is about two-thirds of the way down the back.

Kerlan indicated that the break probably occurred in an area of the back where Pincay had been injured before.

Pincay, who is 41 today, will wear a brace and undergo rehabilitation during his recuperation period. Kerlan said that the jockey's facial injuries had improved overnight and that the swelling had gone down.

Pincay, who last March 14 became the first jockey in Santa Anita history to ride seven winners on one program, also added the season title with 131 wins, missing by seven the track record he had set in 1971. Santa Anita had already designated this Sunday as Laffit Pincay Day, during which he is to receive the Golden Whip Award, which is given annually to the previous season's leading rider.

Pincay trails Pat Day and Jose Santos in the money standings this year and had no chance to overtake Day, whose total was more than $12.2 million through Dec. 20. Pincay won the Jockey Club Gold Cup with Creme Fraiche and the Hollywood Futurity with Tejano this year, adding to his record total of wins in $1-million races. He has won eight races worth $1 million or more.

Pincay is the third major jockey to be sidelined in California this fall. On Nov. 23, Chris McCarron had follow-up surgery on a broken thigh bone he suffered at Santa Anita in October of 1986 and isn't due back until mid-January. Gary Stevens resumed riding Dec. 19 at Hollywood Park, after breaking an ankle at Santa Anita Nov. 14.

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