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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Nasty Spill Brings Nasty Rumors

- As I mentioned before, there was no specific reason given at Aqueduct yesterday when racing was canceled, and that led some to believe the worst possible scenario:

A rumor started at a simulcasting facility that Arroyo had died in the spill, which resulted in many phone calls to the press box. [NY Daily News]
I have to admit that I was thinking along the exact same lines. The spill took place just as the horses were coming out of the first turn, so it was hard to see exactly what was going on after the race. But I'd heard a couple of people comment that Arroyo was motionless on the track. Given the mysterious circumstances and the somber tone of track announcer John Imbriale's announcements, that was the explanation that occurred to me, and was one of the reasons I left despite the good Gulfstream races going on. (I also told the Head Chef I wouldn't be out too long.)

So I was particularly pleased to hear that Arroyo had merely suffered a bruised left shoulder and a cut to his left eye. I'm sure that most of us would have been in the hospital for a week.

Regarding the dispute with the jockeys over hospitals that has effectively shut the track down for the rest of the weekend, NYRA's Bill Nader told Newsday that he is uncertain that changing the protocol is within NYRA's power.
Under protocol set by the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York City, ambulance drivers are required to take an injured person to the nearest trauma unit, which is Jamaica Hospital.
A spokesperson for Jamaica Hospital was taken aback by the jockeys' complaints.
Ole Pedersen, vice president of emergency medicine at Jamaica, was stunned when told of the jockeys' protest.

"These issues have never been brought to my attention to address them," Pedersen said. "We've treated people from the race track for 25 years and no one has brought up an issue."

Pedersen said Jamaica Hospital is a Level One Trauma Center and is the choice of the New York City Police Department. [NY Daily News]


Anonymous said...

There is no way a NYC EMT can take any patient to a Nassau County hospital.

If a jock does not want to go to Jamaica he can call and wait for a private ambulance, at his cost, with all due respect.

If Jamaica hospital is good enough for the NYPD and the good citizens of southern Queens, it should be good enough for jockeys. Sorry guys, I respect the hard work you put in daily and risks you take, but it is your chosen profession and you should not shut down racing on one of the biggest handle days of the winter for your own selfish reasons. You want to be treated as employees when it comes to benefits but refuse to act as such when it suits your needs.

NYRA is a wounded entity and you are helping to drive it further toward extinction. And the extra bad press does the entire sport harm.

Superfecta said...

I posted a bit more about this on my blog today - there's no reason the track can't have a private ambulance take injured jocks to North Shore. Jamaica Hospital is a terrible, terrible place, particularly for dealing with the types of injuries that are most likely in the sport.

I know plenty of NYC city employees who would refuse treatment there.