Jockey Wilson still critical but improving

Horse racing

May 10, 2004|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Local jockey Rick Wilson remained in critical condition yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, but he improved dramatically since being kicked in the head by a horse in a race Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.

"He is awake and responsive," said John Salzman Jr., Wilson's agent. "He answers you with a head shake. He's not over the hump yet, but the nurse told me he's doing remarkably well."

Wilson was injured when his mount, Advance to Go, stumbled out of the gate, tossed Wilson head over heels to the ground and then inadvertently kicked him in the head. Wilson, 50, was flown from Pimlico to Shock Trauma by MedEvac helicopter.

Wilson ranks 20th among jockeys on the all-time win list with 4,939. He has suffered numerous injuries throughout his 32-year career, the most recent until Saturday's being a broken right femur Oct. 12, 2001. After missing 54 weeks of riding, he returned with 5,000 wins as his goal, Salzman said.

Despite Wilson's age and injuries, Salzman said, "he never talked to me about retiring." Wilson planned to ride this summer at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.

He lives in Sykesville with his wife, Jean. They have four children. Salzman said Wilson's family wanted to thank everyone for their expressions of concern.

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