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Five drivers hospitalized after Freehold accident
Friday, January 10, 2014 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing drivers Cat Manzi, Debra Rucker, Vincent Ginsburg, Chris Scicluna and Jim Pantaleano were taken to area hospitals after being involved in an accident in the fifth race Friday afternoon at Freehold Raceway.

Officials said all of the drivers were conscious and information regarding their conditions would be updated when available.

The accident occurred when the starting car slid into the field of seven trotters in the first turn.

Horses involved in the accident were Big Sky Angelina (Manzi), Silver Delivery (Rucker), Redwhitenbluestone (Ginsburg), Brilliant Chief (Scicluna), Muscleslikesparty (Pantaleano) and Region Hall (Rick Pantano).

Officials said all of the horses were able to leave the racetrack with their caretakers.

Civic Duty and driver Jim Clarry were not involved in the accident. Special Command, with driver Jim Marshall III, was scratched.

“The first four races were completed without incident,” explained Freehold General Manager Howard Bruno. “We hadn’t seen anything in the prior races that gave us cause for concern leading up to the fifth race.

“Several drivers are receiving medical attention and right now our thoughts and concerns are with them.”

The fifth race was declared a ‘no contest’ and the remainder of Freehold’s 11-race card was canceled following the accident. Freehold is scheduled to resume live racing on Saturday with a first race post of 12:30 p.m.

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