Horse Racing: Union Rags' Jockey Velazquez Breaks Collarbone at Churchill Downs

Robin Jutkiewicz@EllaMentryBRCorrespondent IIIJune 17, 2012

ELMONT, NY - JUNE 09:  Union Rags ridden by John Velazquez narrowly beats Paynter ridden by Mike Smith during the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 9, 2012 in Elmont, New York.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

In the sport of horse racing, no one can afford to horse around. According to the Associated Press, jockey John Velazquez fell this weekend during a race at Churchill Downs when his mount, Mr. Producer, broke down, leaving the tossed jockey in a precarious position.

Velazquez landed in the path of a trailing horse and sustained a broken right clavicle as well as a possible and potentially more serious kidney injury.

Unfortunately, Mr. Producer's injury was one that commanded he be euthanized.

In a stunning ride along the rail, Velazquez rode Union Rags to victory in the Belmont Stakes this month, vindicating the colt's value after a dismal seventh-place finish at the Kentucky Derby. A highly prized rider, Velazquez will be inducted into horse racing's Hall of Fame this summer.

Whether or not this injury will end Velazquez's career is yet to be seen.

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