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Arlington Park

Arlington Park news release

Contact: David Zenner


(Sept. 5, 2009) – Jockey Matthew Straight, twin brother of apprentice jockey Michael Straight who was injured in a Aug. 26 incident at Arlington Park, has issued the following statement regarding the condition of his brother.

“Mike is completely off the sedatives and the doctors are expecting to remove the ventilator today or tomorrow. Once he’s able to communicate with us, it will make everything a lot better. He’s still fighting.

“He’s doing well. He’s stable and he’s hanging in there. It’s going to be a long road to recovery, but with the continued thoughts and prayers for our family, we’ll get through it.”

Note: Matthew is named to ride SMILE Stable’s More Than Able in today’s 4th race at Arlington Park, a 1 1/16-mile turf race. The Jan Ely-trained horse had been ridden by Michael in his previous four starts, including a victory on June 7. This will be Matthew’s first mount since his brother was injured.

“I came up here the other day to be by my brother’s side, so I wanted to get back in the saddle and see how I felt. I’m riding a horse that Mike has ridden the past four times and recently won on. Hopefully, I can get a winner for him.

“All the jockeys (around the country) have been asked to donate one (losing) mount fee for Mike through the Don MacBeth Memorial Fund, and hopefully we can raise a little more awareness and a little more money (toward the medical expenses). It’s very generous what the Jockeys’ Guild and the PDJF put together for today.

With regard to getting back on horses (Matt exercised horses this morning at Arlington):

“Once you get out there and get on the horses, you kind of clear your mind of everything. Obviously, there were a few butterflies at first and I’m sure there will be today, but it’s what I want to do. It’s what me and my brother both love to do. We all know what we are signing up for when we start riding.”

Note: Matthew will continue to issue updates as appropriate.

Background: Apprentice jockey Michael Straight was taken to Lutheran General Hospital following an incident in the eighth race Aug. 26 at Arlington Park. Straight, 23, was riding Im No Genetleman in the mile and a sixteenth race when his mount appeared to have clipped heels with another horse in the vicinity of the quarter pole and the rider fell to the track.





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