Beckon making progress

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:16 AM ET

Whether live or on replay, anyone who witnessed the nasty spill at Woodbine on Wednesday had to look away and wince.

But all were breathing a little easier last night after some positive news for jockey Chad Beckon, who got the worst of the accident that took the life of his mount, Oliver's Strike.

Beckon was thrown to the track when Oliver's Strike broke down going around the final turn of the night's third race. The three-year-old gelding ran over Beckon as did the horse trailing him, Kensington Oval, who fell over Oliver's Strike.

Kensington Oval's jockey, Simon Husbands, was treated for minor injuries, including a broken collarbone, at Etobicoke General Hospital.

Neither Beckon nor Husbands were scheduled to ride in Sunday's Queen's Plate.

Beckon, meanwhile, was rushed to Sunnybrook Hospital where he was induced into a coma Wednesday night so doctors could monitor a potential brain injury. He was conscious yesterday, however, and was able to spend time with family and friends.

"He's in the critical care unit and there are some fractured vertebrae, but the good news is he was much better this morning," said Robert King, a former rider and the secretary-manager of the Jockeys' Benefit Association of Canada.

Beckon's agent, Anthony Esposito, said his client remained in guarded condition.

Though he suffered broken bones in his face and his vertebrae, the early prognosis is there is no spinal damage.

Track officials said Oliver's Strike died on the track. Those who saw the spill say it was as bad as it gets.

"It was an ugly sight," said Scott Fairlie, the trainer who will saddle Queen's Plate favourite Milwaukee Appeal. "Nobody wants to see that, but it's a sport and in all sports there's injuries and accidents."


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