Tais Lyapustina
First win for Tais Lyapustina, back in 2018. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.

In case there was any question — which there really wasn’t — horse racing is a dangerous game. Two Midlantic riders can attest to that after Saturday’s racing action.

Journeymen Tais Lyapustina and Paco Lopez both were somewhat the worse for wear after being involved in racing accidents Saturday afternoon.

Lopez, Monmouth Park’s leading rider, was taken by ambulance to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, NJ, for X-rays and evaluation after suffering an apparent right elbow injury following a spill in the 10th race on Saturday’s card, according to Dr. Angelo Chinnici, the track’s medical director.

Lopez, whose 31 winners at the meet are more than double that of his next closest competitor, went down after his mount, Pretendant, fell after appearing to clip heels in tight quarters midway through the final turn of the mile and a sixteenth race.

Pretendant was in the middle of a condensed pack with four other horses when the colt appeared to clip heels with Bob In Our Midst.

Lyapustina was unseated during Saturday’s second race at Laurel Park when her mount, 3-year-old filly My Lila, broke down in mid-stretch while on the lead and drifted inside.

My Lila avoided other horses but catapulted her rider over the inner rail. Lyapustina was taken to a hospital near Laurel for observation. My Lila was euthanized.