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Jockey Gary Stevens Remains Hospitalized

August 18, 2003

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) _ Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens will be sidelined for a month as he recovers from injuries sustained in a spill during the Arlington Million.

Stevens remained hospitalized in fair and stable condition Monday, two days after he was thrown to the turf and nearly trampled during Saturday’s race.

He told The Jockey Club he was being treated for a collapsed lung and a fractured vertebra in his upper back.

Stevens said his lung was reinflated with the help of a tube, which caused the most intense pain he’s ever experienced.

``I don’t know what a heart attack feels like, but I think I’m having one,″ he recalled telling medical technicians in the ambulance.

The tube was removed Monday and Stevens said he’s feeling better.

He said doctors don’t believe he suffered any nerve damage because of the vertebra. He also has bruises, but none to his face.

``The Hollywood face is OK,″ said Stevens, who co-stars in the movie ``Seabiscuit.″

Stevens’ theatrical agent Eddie Goldstone told Joe Harper, president and general manager of Del Mar, that Stevens would miss a month.

There was no word when Stevens might leave the hospital, Northwest Community Hospital spokesman Bob Niersbach said Monday.

Stevens was scheduled to be aboard Candy Ride in Sunday’s $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar, but trainer Ron McAnally was looking for a new rider Monday.

Stevens fell off Storming Home a few strides past the finish line in the Million. After he remained motionless for five minutes, Stevens, whose left shoulder was stepped on, sat up and moved his legs before he was carried off the track on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.

Storming Home finished a half-length ahead of Sulamani and was initially declared the winner of the race. But the horse was disqualified because it bolted far to the outside just before the wire and veered into the path of Sulamani and two others. Sulamani was then declared the winner.

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