Mercer, Pennsylvania., horseman William Daugherty, Jr., life-flighted out of the Amulet Farms paddock area after a cardiac incident during the races Saturday afternoon (September 10), is "doing much better now," said his son, Robert Daugherty, to Harness Racing Commission/MSOA representative Jeff Zidek last night (Sunday September 11).
"The doctors say he looked fantastic for what he had been through," and William is expected to undergo pacemaker/defibrillation surgery today.
The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes fair circuit was making a one-day stop at the Amulet Farms Training Center, with an overflow card of 22 races. Daugherty, who had earlier won two races, had come off the track after guiding Cadence Hall (last year's 2-year-old fair champ) to a 2:03.4 record-equaling mark for sophomore male trotters, and was stricken shortly thereafter.
Quick work by attending horsemen kept Daugherty in a stabilized condition until the helicopter could put down in the infield of the training center.
The senior Daugherty, 64, has been a giant force on the PA fair circuit the last five years-- witness UDRs (starting in 2007 to this year) of .675, .648, .540, .696, and.594.
Southwind Nitro, who won the Fair Championship at two and the Stallion Series Championship at three, is perhaps his best-known performer-- and knowing that Cadence Hall, Georgian Diablo, and MM's Yankee, his three winners on Saturday, will almost assuredly make this year's Fair Finals on October 8 at The Meadows should help the veteran be in a good frame of mind as he begins his recovery process.
by Jerry CONNORS