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Morrill returns for NYSS

June 22, 2006

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Leading Buffalo Raceway driver Jim Morrill Jr., who was involved in a racing accident May 5, will return to the track for the 2006 Buffalo Raceway debut of New York Sire Stakes action on Friday, June 23. The evening will feature five divisions of 3-year-old trotting fillies racing for a combined $135,165 in purses.

\"I definitely wanted to be back for the Sire Stakes,\" said Morrill, who drove in two races Friday, June 16, at Buffalo, the first drives since his accident. \"I figured if I got out last Friday, the trainers would know that I was ready and that they could use me.\"

Morrill describes his on-track wreck as the most horrific of his career. When a horse in front of Morrill fell, he had no time to steer clear and was catapulted into the air.

\"It was really awful,\" he said. \"I hit the track so hard, I was out for about 15 minutes.\"

The 41-year-old driver suffered a number of injuries, including a broken clavicle and hairline fractures of his ribs, but the most important was a broken metacarpal bone in his left hand.

\"I\'m a lefty so it just happened to be the hand I use the most,\" lamented Morrill. \"I was held up a little because I was 10 days into healing before I had the surgery. They had to put a screw in my hand so it would heal properly and several smaller screws.\"

Now, just over six weeks after the accident, Morrill doesn\'t expect to have any problems with his hand while racing this weekend. He is down to drive both Friday and Saturday night, when New York Sire Stakes action continues for 3-year-old pacing colts.

Morrill was based in New Jersey before moving to Western New York last summer, when he immediately made his mark as a powerful new member of the driving colony. Although he had previously traveled to race an occasional horse in the New York Sire Stakes, he has never pursued the circuit as a catch-driver and hopes to do so this year.

\"I would really like to follow the Sire Stakes this year and I\'m looking forward to lining up some mounts,\" he said. \"I\'m looking to press on through the summer because I know a lot of guys make a very good living on the Sire Stakes circuit and there are some exciting horses to drive.\" (NYSS)
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