News and Notes

STEVENS INJURED IN GATE ACCIDENT

JIM WELLS

The break had just ended Thursday morning and Scott Stevens had a horse from the Miguel Silva barn that needed some work in the gate.Stevens had a couple of reservations if not outright concerns as he left the barn. He had escaped injury when the same horse acted up in a gate work two weeks earlier.

Naturally, that episode was on Stevens’ mind as he rode out of the barn on Thursday morning.Talk about foreboding.Stevens sat on the second level of the grandstand during Thursday night’s card, his right arm in sling, the scapula on that shoulder broken and a small piece of bone missing from the opposite shoulder.

The horse dropped Stevens against the tailgate and then flipped over on top of him.”The nurse at St. Francis hadn’t seen a broken scapula before,” Stevens said. “But I don’t feel that bad. If my arm wasn’t in a sling, I could ride.”

Stevens won’t know the length of his convalescence until he visits the doctor on Tuesday. “But the paperwork they sent home with me indicated four to six weeks,” he said.

Stevens watched the first six races on Thursday’s card, the second with particular interest. He had worked Corporate Charlie, a first time starter owned and trained by Stanley C. Mankin, and was impressed with the 3-year-old gelding.

“He’s a darn nice horse,” Stevens said, after Corporate Charlie broke his maiden in convincing fashion, whipping a field of six rivals under Ry Eilkeberry instead of Stevens.

“I lost a good one in that race,” Stevens said. “I was really looking forward to riding him.”

Stevens was looking forward to the first Thursday night of racing with four mounts on the card but is likely to miss at least the next three Thursdays if not more.

Although Stevens remained upbeat about the injury, he has had more than his share of broken bones during his career, particularly in the last year. He was severely injured in a spill at Canterbury last summer and was airlifted from the track with his life hanging in the balance. Yet, he was back riding at Turf Paradise in Phoenix by mid November and was eager to ride again this summer at Canterbury.

Off to a good start, those plans will be on hold for awhile.

ANDERSON TO TAKE OVER

Chad Anderson’s brother, Mark, who is currently riding at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg will arrive at Canterbury this weekend to take over Stevens’s mounts while he recovers.”Mark’s having a great year. He’ll do well here,” Stevens said.

Anderson is currently third in the rider standings in Winnipeg. He had ridden 15 winners with 10 seconds and 11 thirds from 71 mounts through Wednesday.He was second at the Portland Meadows meet that ended in April, with 71 wins, 35 seconds and 51 thirds from 279 meets.

A LONG DRIVE FROM WINNIPEG

If Paul Nolan wasn’t exactly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Thursday night, it would have been completely understandable. Yet, he looked non-the-worse for the wear, despite a long, long night in the car Wednesday.

An 8 ½-hour drive from Winnipeg actually took 10 ½ hours or slightly more after the Nolans, Paul and Sherry, encountered fog near Fargo, N.D., and had to park the car for a couple of hours.

“We got a little sleep there,” Sherry said. “At least we tried to sleep.”

The Nolans pulled into their Bloomington home about 9:15 a.m. Thursday and began unpacking the truck and feeding the cats. Paul did at any rate, since Sherry was engaged in a telephone conversation for much of the time.”We left a little after 11 p.m.,” Sherry said, “but the fog was so dense when we got to Fargo that we just pulled into a stop for a couple of hours.”

The Nolans left after the races at Assiniboia Downs. “We grabbed a cup of coffee and headed out,” Sherry said.

The ordeal was worth the effort. Paul rode two races and won both, an allowance event and a small stake.He grabbed some sleep at home after the lengthy ordeal and was at Canterbury, where he had four mounts Thursday night.

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