“Extremely lucky” Jeiron Barbosa escapes serious injury in spill

“Extremely lucky.”

That’s how agent Tom Stift described Jeiron Barbosa after a frightening spill Tuesday at Parx Racing left the five-pound apprentice jockey with a repairable wrist injury but nothing more severe.

Barbosa was aboard 6-5 favorite Soupster in the 10th race at Parx when another runner, Sea Fret with Luis Ocasio in the irons, came over on him nearing the far turn. Soupster clipped heels and fell, triggering a chain reaction that saw three other riders also unseated after their mounts hit the fallen Soupster.

Of the fallen riders, only Barbosa and Eduviel Ignacio had to go to the hospital. Ignacio “broke his collarbone,” Stift said. All of the horses involved in the incident walked off, according to Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association public relations director Danielle Gibson.

As for Barbosa, the injury is to the “smaller bone in his [left] wrist,” Stift said. But as of Wednesday morning, the extent of the injury was unclear. Barbosa had broken the same bone previously, and Stift said that until the young rider sees a specialist, they won’t know if the damage seen on a scan is new or old or how best to proceed.

“We really don’t know anything,” Stift said. “I would say right now the timeframe could be anywhere from three weeks to three months.”

Jeiron Barbosa. Photo by Coady Photography.

Barbosa was released from Jefferson Torresdale Hospital, near Parx, by about 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, Stift said, and spent the night at his agent’s house, emerging from the fall in good spirits.

“He’s doing good,” Stift said. “He’s laughing and smiling, and he’s got a good attitude.”

Barbosa has taken mid-Atlantic racing by storm. He arrived at Laurel Park in March with wins aboard his first two mounts and this season to date has won 154 races from 833 starters (18 percent). His mounts have accumulated over $4.7 million in purse earnings, he’s won two stakes, and certainly would be in the Eclipse Award conversation for top apprentice rider.

Stift said his rider is taking a philosophical approach to what comes next.

“If he’s out a while, he can spend the holidays with his family in Puerto Rico and miss the bad weather here,” Stift said. “Or we’ll plan for a few weeks in the cold and then back at it. That’s our plans, short-term and long-term.”