Anthony Coletta was involved in a serious accident at Harrah's Philadelphia yesterday afternoon in the eleventh race. While there is video available (it has been pulled from YouTube), I will not be posting it. Suffice it to say Coletta was unable to avoid a downed horse and he was catapulted into the air and hit the track, trampled by a trailing horse.
While the spill was not the worst I have seen with respect to the number of horses (four) involved, this was clearly one of the worst accidents I have ever seen. Coletta has undergone surgery and has won the first battle (as Yannick Gingras would say), but it would appear there is a long road to travel. Prayers to Coletta and his family as they go through this long process. Currently he is in critical condition.
I have said it before and will say it again, drivers are under appreciated as it is a very dangerous job to drive horses. As for those people who claim a driver deliberately will knock their own horse off stride, they just need to see an accident like this to see what can happen if a horse falls or jumps badly off-stride at the wrong time. If after seeing an accident like this they can still say someone will deliberately cause a horse to go off stride, I say toss them out of the track. We don't need people like them in horse racing.
I will update this thread as appropriate.
UPDATE: It is now reported that Coletta is breathing on his own after undergoing surgery for brain trauma and several fractures. In the meanwhile, the harness racing community is working together to help offset the huge medical bills which are adding up.