Day At The Track

Horsemen in support for driver Anthony Coletta

02:13 AM 21 Nov 2013 NZDT
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Anthony Coletta, harness racing
Anthony Coletta is in critical condition after surgery

There is a tremendous show of support and prayers from the horsemen and women in the harness racing industry for driver Anthony Coletta.

Coletta, 31, from Jersey City, NJ, was critically injured in a dramatic four-horse accident at Harrah’s Philadelphia racetrack in Chester, PA on Sunday. Coletta was vaulted from his sulky and then trampled by a trailing horse.

He was taken to a local medical facility and then flow by medivac helicopter to the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania where he underwent surgery for brain trauma and multiple fractures Sunday night. It was reported that as of Monday morning Coletta was breathing on his own.

There are fund raising events being organized by horsemen throughout the country. Many are dedicating a percentage of their purses earned this Thursday, November 21, for a special fund being set up to help fray the massive costs for Coletta’s hospital expenses.

The efforts are all being coordinated by one of Coletta’s best friends, Standardbred trainer Anthony Defrancesco, III of Philadelphia. Defrancesco has visited Coletta every day since the accident.

Horsemen and women at Harrah’s Philadelphia (PA), the Meadows (PA), Freehold Raceway (NJ), Yonkers Raceway (NY), Lebanon Raceway (OH) are all working on getting as many horse people as possible to help raise funds. Yannick Gingras, one of the leading drivers in all of harness racing, said he would donate all of his driving commissions on Thursday. Owner Pat O’Brian is donating 10% of all his horses earnings from Thursday through Sunday. More horsemen are expected to join in as word spreads of the event.

“We are also setting up a wrist band,” Defrancesco said, “that will have Anthony’s name on it and Stay Strong. People will be able to purchase them soon and all the money goes to his relief fund.”

Anyone wishing to donate to the Anthony Coletta Fund can do so by contacting Anthony Defrancesco, III at 215-385-6732 and you can also contact him via Facebook.

“Hopefully if everyone continues to say prayers,” Defrancesco said, “that Anthony will hear them. He needs all the hope and prayers he can get.”

By Steve Wolf for

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