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Torres in critical condition

Injury to jockey mars Saturday's Colonial Cup

Posted: November 16, 2010 3:52 p.m.
Updated: November 17, 2010 5:00 a.m.

Camden resident and steeplechase jockey Jorge Torres was listed in critical condition on Tuesday morning, according to a spokesperson at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia.

Torres was thrown from his mount, Class Moon, in Saturday’s Raymond G. Woolfe Memorial Steeplechase. The race for 3-year-olds was the third on the Colonial Cup card at the Springdale Race Course.

Shortly after the accident, rumors were being circulated as to the apprentice jockey’s not having survived the spill.

Torres fell off his mount at the eighth fence (the first along the backside) in Saturday’s 2-mile steeplechase and was airlifted to Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital with various head and body injuries. In the spring, Torres rode Prince Rahy to victory for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard in the Kershaw Plate, a 1 ½-mile flat race which kicked off the 2010 Carolina Cup in Camden.

Saturday’s ride aboard Class Moon was Torres‘ third as a steeplechase jockey in two weeks. On Oct. 30 in Aiken, he rode Primero Peru to a third-place finish in the $15,000 maiden hurdle before taking fourth aboard Class Moon in a $10,000 maiden claiming hurdle.

Young successful in title defense:

The record 25 3/-4-lenth victory was the first score in a Grade I chase for the 34-year-old native of Ireland, who now calls Unionville, Penn. home along with his wife and their three children. It also gave him a sweep of the two Camden feature chases in 2010 after he piloted Spy in the Sky to victory in the $75,000 Carolina First Carolina Cup in March.

His 20 wins, one more than his took in 2009, came from 104 starts. His nearest competitor, Danielle Hodsdon, finished the season with 16 wins over fences. Young also captured the money-won title with his mounts having brought in $648,500, which was more than $220,000 ahead of Brian Crowley.

Interviewed outside the jockey’s room Saturday afternoon, Young said that he never gave thought to winning a second NSA crown after his 2009 campaign.

"When I won it last year, I thought it was a ‘pinnacle of a career’ sort of thing. I had no expectations of winning it this year; not that I didn’t want to," he said after riding the Tom Voss-trained 7-year-old to victory on Saturday. "I’ve tried so hard to get where I am now that I was kind of burnt out, a little bit.

"I work for another trainer and I said to him, ‘Look, I think you had better get another rider because I’m going to take it easy this year.’ Things just kind of built up, built up and built up … I got busier and busier this year. But it’s great to do it again. I’m very lucky to be able to ride for some of the very best people."

Young then praised the mounts he received and talked about the strength of the riders’ colony in the NSA ranks.

"If somebody else was riding the horses that I’ve been riding,’ he said, "they would win the championship. I know that you have to stay on them but, in all honesty, I’m riding some pretty nice horses. It’s expected, in a sense, from some people. But it’s nice to do it again."

Ho-Hum:

Sheppard has now won 25 earnings titles to go along with 22 races-won championships.

Fight to the finish:

Coming into the Colonial Cup, Pape led Naylor by less than $2,000, to top the circuit.

Saturday at Springdale, Naylor had seven jumpers entered into four chases while Pape had two, both in the feature chase in defending Colonial Cup champion and 2009 Eclipse Award winner Mixed Up and Lead Us Not.

After his first three jumpers earned $800 in two races, Naylor closed the gap to some $1,000. When Tax Ruling took third in the feature and earned $10,000, it put the former amateur jockey over the top. The Naylor-owner Percussionist, the pre-race favorite, brought in just $3,000 for finishing sixth. Pape’s best finish of the day came when Mixed Up finished fifth and earned $4,000. Lead Us Not fell and did not bring home a check.

By day’s end, Naylor topped the charts with $329,300 in winnings while Pape’s horses had $321,390 for the season.

Horse money:

Slip Away earned $191,500 dollars with his second win in seven starts in 2010. He finished in the money on all but one of those races over fences. Percussionist, who earned $150,000 for taking last month’s $250,000 Grand National Steeplechase in Far Hills, N.J., added $3,000 to his coffers on Saturday to finish runner-up to Slip Away with $153,000.

Going out with a strong finish:

First trained by Paul Rowland before being turned over to Sanna Hendriks, Preemptive Strike won the 2004 Camden spring classic for Rowland. He also finished second in the Colonial Cup on three occasions, including Saturday.

In 38 starts over fences, he won eight times and finished in the money on 19 other occasions.

Looking ahead:

A race date for the 2011 Colonial Cup has not been decided on, as of yet.

The 79th running of the Carolina Cup Steeplechase Races is set for Saturday, April 2, 2011. Preemptive Strike finished second behind Slip Away in Saturday’s feature, in what was the final race of the hard-knocking 12-year-old’s career. Thanks to his pocketing $60,000 for Saturday’s feature chase win, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Slip Away overtook Percussionist for the NSA’s Lonesome Glory Award.In a battle to win both their first NSA owner’s championship, Irv Naylor overtook William L. Pape on Saturday to win the title.By the time the NSA circuit reached Camden, Hall of Fame trainer and part-time Camden resident Jonathan Sheppard already had the leading trainer crowns --- for wins and earnings --- secured. Sheppard’s charges won 26 times from 96 starts and brought in $809,930 in purse money, out-distancing Voss by eight victories and in earnings by more than $200,000.By winning Saturday’s feature, the $100,000 Carolina First Colonial Cup Steeplechase aboard Slip Away, Paddy Young won his second consecutive National Steeplechase Association leading rider title.

 

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