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Harness driver Palone released from hospital

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By John Grupp
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, 4:38 p.m.

Hall of Fame driver Dave Palone, the all-time victory leader in North American harness racing, is expected to return to racing soon, after a scary spill landed him at Allegheny General Hospital.

Palone, part of a five-horse wreck at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino, on Monday, was released on Tuesday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.

“We're very lucky that he wasn't hurt seriously,” Palone's wife, Bethann, said Tuesday in a statement. “He's resting. He's a little sore right now, so it's day to day, but he'll be back soon.”

Palone, 50, was admitted for possible head and neck injuries resulting from an accident in Monday's 10th race at the Washington County track.

Palone, driving Intrigued Royalty, was thrown hard to the track when the horse next to him, Mike Wilder-driven Whirl Monroe, took a misstep and fell, causing a chain-reaction pileup. Palone, who became the sport's winningest North American driver in July with his 15,181st victory, hit his head on the fall and was taken by helicopter to Allegheny General Hospital.

Wilder, who suffered wrist and rib injuries, was treated and released. He returned to driving on Tuesday. None of the other three drivers involved in the accident — Todd Cummings, Mike Dowdall and Brett Miller — required medical attention. None of the five horses appeared to be seriously injured, according to a Meadows spokesman.

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