freehold raceway

Freehold Raceway Accident: Starting Car Crashes Into Horses [Watch]

The Freehold Raceway in New Jersey saw an unusual accident on Friday involving the starting car, the trotting horses, and a wet track.

NJ.com reported that the seven trotters were following the gate attached to the starting car as usual, but then things started to go badly wrong. The track was wet and slippery; as the horses entered the turn, the car went left to go in front of them.

The vehicle then lost its traction on the wet dirt and spun out of control, right back into the path of the horses.

Karen Fagliarone, Freehold Raceway director of racing and race secretary, said, “We don’t know what happened. It was definitely a freak mishap. Something I’ve never seen in 40 years in racing,”

The lead horse, Civic Duty, was the only one which managed to avoid the car and the swinging gate, though two other horses did continue running.

“The initial inspection was that the horses are all OK. Four of the drivers have been transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center” in Neptune, said Fagliarone. She did not know the details of the status of the drivers.

Track superintendent Michael Fagliarone and Freehold general manager Howard Bruno both refused to comment to NJ.com. The driver of the car, Robert Blum, could not immediately be contacted.

The race had to be declared a no-contest and Freehold Raceway canceled its final six races of the day following the accident.

The drivers of the trotting rigs who were taken to the hospital were named as: Catello Manzi, Jim Pantaleano, Debra Rucker, and Vince Ginsburg. It is known that Manzi suffered a punctured lung and cracked ribs.

A spokesperson for Freehold Raceway said that all the drivers are in stable condition.

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