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Plainridge Starting Crew Commended

Published: April 1, 2009 11:41 am ET

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Great work by the starting crew at Plainridge Racecourse during the afternoon of Tuesday, March 31 lessened the results of a spill which caused injuries to three drivers after two horses went down during the eighth race.

Drivers Robert Dinning, Kevin Switzer, Jr., and Brad Irvine were taken to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in nearby North Attleboro. Track officials reported late Tuesday night that all three drivers were released from the hospital. Dinning suffered a twisted pelvis, while Switzer and Irvine were treated for cuts and bruises.

The accident happened as Patty Style, driven by Shane Taggart, made a break at the front of the pack rounding the far clubhouse turn and causing Switzer, Dinning and Irvine to be thrown onto the track.

General manger Stephen O'Toole rushed to the scene and was joined by track president Gary Piontkowski, who praised the efforts of starter Richard Flanders and starting car driver and track superintendent Gerrald Rocco, Jr. Flanders and Rocco had jumped from the starting car and were quickly at the scene of the accident.

"Gerry jumped from the starting car and pinned two horses on the ground, preventing more injury, while Flanders rushed to the injured Dinning. It was just great work by both these guys," Piontkowski noted.

Irvine and Switzer were on their feet after the spill, but seemed to suffer bruises.

The race was won by One Last time with Jim Hardy driving, while Keystone Eager and Sweet Preston finished second and third, respectively.

(With files from Plainridge)

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