Jockey Ortiz out of Belmont following scary fall

Sports

NEW YORK — Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. is out of the Belmont Stakes after a scary fall while racing but seems to have escaped long-term injury.

Ortiz was thrown off a horse during a race Thursday at Belmont Park and then trampled by the horse being ridden by his younger brother Jose. Irad Ortiz was taken off the track on a stretcher and then to a local hospital before being released.

“I’ve spoken to some people who have spoken to him, so I know he’s OK,” trainer Todd Pletcher said Friday. “Hopefully he’ll be back in a couple of weeks.”

Jose Ortiz on Thursday night tweeted a photo of his older brother with a bandage around his left wrist and a message indicating Irad’s X-rays were negative and that he would be back in a couple of weeks.

Irad Ortiz underwent a CT scan, though it was not immediately clear if he suffered a head injury.

He was scheduled to ride Pletcher’s Known Agenda in the Belmont, looking for his second victory in the Triple Crown race.

Pletcher said a decision on a replacement won’t be made until Saturday. Jose Ortiz, Mike Smith and Javier Castellano are among the possibilities.

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