Sunday’s racing at New York’s Aqueduct ended with a horrifying chain-reaction spill as Honor Ernesto, setting the pace around the far turn in the ninth race, broke down badly and fell, pitching jockey Charlie Amaro to the track in front of the onrushing field.
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Three of the trailing horses collided with the stricken three-year-old gelding, and their riders also hit the ground.
Honor Ernesto suffered catastrophic fractures to both front legs and was euthanized on the track.
Amaro — substituting in the race for apprentice Tyler Kaplan, who was kicked by a horse Saturday morning — was carried off the track in a stretcher and taken to Jamaica Hospital, as was apprentice jockey Brian Pedroza.
Both were said to be conscious.
The other two riders involved, Nazario Alvarado and Abel Lezcano, were unhurt.
The other three horses, Soft Parade, Trinity Warrior and Rightuplynn’salley, ran off after the spill — but not without some anxious moments: Soft Parade jumped the outer rail into the barn area, while Rightuplynn’salley ran off the track, through the gap into the paddock, where he was finally taken in hand.