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Suit Claims Bird Caused Injury at Track

March 11, 1988

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) _ A horse trainer injured in a fall has charged in a lawsuit that the track should have prevented a goose from scaring his horse.

Louis Raffetto Jr., assistant general manager at Monmouth Park, said he found the suit filed Feb. 29 ″comical,″ but an attorney for the trainer said there was nothing funny about it.

″The bird tried to land in front of the horse, the horse got spooked and threw the rider,″ said Thomas G. Bernard, who is representing trainer Robert P. Dello Russo of Long Branch. ″One came up dead and one came up hurt.″

In the May 26 accident, a horse being exercised by Dello Russo slammed to a halt when it encountered the goose, the suit claims.

Dello Russo was thrown and spent a week in the hospital with neck and head injuries, Bernard said. The horse fell and suffered fatal injuries, the suit said.

″Unless the bird had Monmouth Park tattooed to it, I don’t know how he can say it’s one of ours,″ said Raffetto.

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