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Fisher To Return After Accident

Published: August 1, 2013 2:30 pm ET

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It has only been 20 days since Ray Fisher Jr., the 2013 Buffalo Raceway driving champion, went down in a horrific accident. But he's gotten the green light to return and will be in the sulky Friday night at Batavia Downs for the first time this season.

Fisher suffered two broken vertebrae and a fractured pelvis in the July 12 spill during the third race at Buffalo Raceway, a $57,443 New York Sire Stakes event for two-year-old pacing fillies.

In what was described as one of the worst spills in western New York harness racing history, Fisher was driving All About Boyz and was thrown to the track in an accident which involved three other horses and drivers Andrew McCarthy, Jimmy Whittemore and Jack Flanigen.

Fisher was taken off the track via ambulance along with Flanigen, but was released from the hospital later the next day. Flanigen has yet to return to the races.

“I knew when I couldn’t get up I was hurt badly,” Fisher said. “I’ve been in accidents before, one nasty one at Northfield when there was still a hub rail, but I was able to walk away after a minute or two, this time, I just couldn’t get up.”

Fisher was transported to a trauma center where X-rays and a CAT scan were taken.

“When the doctors wouldn’t talk to me I figured I had some serious injuries.”

While the fall to the ground broke his pelvis, his race bike caused the injuries to his vertebrae after it landed squarely on his chest. Fisher wasn’t wearing a safety vest.

“I wouldn’t have broken my back if I had a safety vest on. I’ll be wearing one on Friday.”

Fisher has driven in 23,004 races, he’s won 3,453 and his mounts have earned $13.7-million.

Friday night, Fisher returns and will try to get into the Batavia Downs driver's race after giving everyone a six-day head start. Fortunately, it's not an insurmountable lead, as Shawn McDonough and Jim McNeight are on top with 10 victories each. There is nearly four months of racing remaining.

Fisher is currently scheduled to drive in nine of the 12 races in his 2013 Batavia Downs debut, including being behind Ziegfeld in the $8,500 Open Trot, which is slated as Race 2.

Fisher won 149 times in 790 starts at Buffalo Raceway to claim the driving title, beating John Cummings Jr. by a mere four victories. His mounts earned $754,213 on the year at Buffalo and he had a universal driver's rating of .309.

First-race post time for Friday night's 12-race card is 6:30 p.m.

(Batavia Downs)


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