Jockey Manny Franco has a bruised right arm and a bruised left calf but did not suffer any fractures after being involved in a spill in Friday’s 11th and final race at Belmont Park.
It won’t be known until Saturday morning whether Franco will ride that day’s Belmont Stakes card, according to Angel Cordero, the former Hall of Fame rider who is Franco’s agent.
“I told him to wait and see how he feels tomorrow,” Cordero said.
Friday, Franco was aboard Wicked Trick, who was on the lead entering the first turn of a 1 3-8-mile maiden turf race. The 3-year-old gelding, who has just one eye according to Cordero, spooked from something entering the first turn, unseating Franco. In addition to hitting the ground hard, Franco appeared to get stepped on by at least one trailing horse.
Franco got up on his feet rather quickly. He walked to the inside of the turf course where he sat in a golf cart briefly. Eventually, he walked off the course on his own and into an awaiting ambulance. Franco was advised to go to North Shore University Hospital where X-rays did not show any breaks or fractures.
Franco was released from the hospital after 8:30 p.m.
Wicked Trick ran loose around the turf course and was caught, seemingly unharmed, by an outrider shortly after he passed the finish line.
Franco is named to ride six mounts on Saturday’s blockbuster 13-race card including On Leave in the Grade 1, $700,000 Just a Game and Hard Study, the 5-2 co-second choice on the morning-line in the Grade 2, $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational. Franco also is named to ride longshot Discreet Lover in the Grade 1, $1.2 million Metropolitan Handicap as well as horses in the three non-stakes races on the card.
Franco, 23 ranks ninth nationally in purse money won with $6,013,960 and eighth nationally with 105 wins. His 13 stakes wins in 2018 are seventh best nationally.
Franco won his first riding title at the Aqueduct winter meet. He ranks third in wins with 24 at the current Belmont spring/summer meet.