NEW YORK -- Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. is out of the Belmont Stakes after a scary fall while racing but seems to have escaped long-term injury.
Ortiz was thrown off a horse during a race Thursday at Belmont Park and then trampled by the horse being ridden by his younger brother, Jose. Irad was taken off the track on a stretcher and then to a local hospital before being released.
"It didn't look very good at all," Jose Ortiz told The Associated Press on Friday. "He got four stitches on his arm and six on his head, but he's doing really, really good. It could've been a lot worse."
On Thursday night, Jose Ortiz tweeted a photo of his older brother with a bandage around his left wrist and a message indicating that Irad's X-rays were negative and that he would be back in a couple of weeks.
Irad Ortiz underwent a CT scan, though it was not immediately clear if he suffered a head injury beyond the cut that required stitches. He was moving his extremities and talking to medical personnel and others on the track moments after the fall.
"Relieved as soon as I would run down there and he said he was fine," Jose Ortiz said. "As long as he was talking and was conscious and could feel his legs and arms, I was relieved."
Irad Ortiz was scheduled to ride Pletcher's Known Agenda in the Belmont, looking for his second victory in the Triple Crown race.
Pletcher said a decision on a replacement won't be made until Saturday. Jose Ortiz, Mike Smith and Javier Castellano are among the possibilities.
Asked if he would like to replace his brother in the Belmont, Jose Ortiz said, "Of course."