Jockey Dean Butler, 2016’s leading rider at Canterbury Park, went down hard on Valeski when the gelding broke down underneath him in the stretch run of the 4th race Friday night. Butler hit the ground hard and the horse rolled over him. Valeski was fatally injured in the spill.
Sent to Hennepin County Medical Center, Butler suffered three fractured vertebrae in the spill, the T-8, T-9 and L-1.
“I have quite a bit of pain right now,” said Butler, on his way to the jock’s room for treatment. “But I’m taking it slowly but hopefully will be back in six to eight weeks – a good six to eight weeks. It’s my back and I’m not going to take any chances with it.”
The 46 year old Butler, known for his work ethic and discipline, don’t bet against Butler’s return before the meet closes on September 15.