Dana Whitney Wins 2017 Plum Pretty Stakes at Parx Driving Power of Snunner
Two of Penn National’s lead drivers, Tyler Conner and Dana Whitney, were injured in a four-horse crash during Wednesday night’s race three at Granville Speedway in Pennsylvania. One of the horses was euthanized.
Connor suffered a concussion on his Siberian with a fractured Cannon bone, while Whitney suffered a broken shoulder and a compound femur fracture after his Jump Free fell from Siberian at the turn of the six-furlong race on his ride Jump Free $5,000 claimant.
Two other riders, Yomar Ortiz and Vladimir Diaz, fell from the saddle but were not injured. The fifth horse caught up, with ease. Five of the original 10 starters finished the game.
Siberian, owned and raised by Matthew Schera and trained by James Lawrence II, was euthanized. No other horses were injured, according to Eric Johnston, director of operations for Penn State Racing.
Whitney will undergo femur surgery at noon Thursday at Penn Health Milton Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, said her agent, John Krulock.
“The fracture was right in the middle of the femur,” Krullock said. “It came apart completely. They were able to partially put the bones back together for surgery. It was a really bad break.”
Crulock said the shoulder fracture was not a collarbone injury and that Whitney had fractured it before and required surgery. He has no time frame for the driver’s recovery period or possible return to racing.
Since 2010, Whitney has been the leading driver for the Penn Nationals three times and currently sits seventh in the standings with 61 victories in 443 races. He has 4,268 lifetime victories from 26,745 mounts.
Conner, who ranks second in the Penn Nationals class with 139 wins in 655 games, is expected to miss at least a week as his agent, Marty Salvaggio, said. He will undergo concussion protocol.
“Taylor was released from the hospital last night,” Salvaggio said. “Other than the concussion, he is fine. He will go back to his home care provider and have a concussion test with them for clearance to return. I don’t know how long that process will take, but we want to proceed with caution .”
Conner, who won his 1,000th career win in July, suffered a concussion before, but from a different type of game, Salvaggio said. Before getting his apprentice license in 2014, Conner raced motocross. He turned to horses after he became convinced after a few accidents that motocross was too dangerous a sport.