Racing Academy jockey might be paralyzed after fall

August 28, 2009 

Apprentice jockey Michael Straight, a graduate of North American Racing Academy in Lexington, was hospitalized after a spill in the eighth race at Arlington Park on Wednesday.

The Daily Racing Form reported Thursday that Straight's injuries were so serious that he might be left paralyzed in his lower body.

Straight, 24, was tended to by track paramedics before he was taken to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. reported Thursday night that Straight was scheduled for surgery for four fractured vertebrae Thursday and it would last several hours.

Straight was riding Im No Gentleman when his mount appeared to clip heels with another horse and the rider fell to the track.

Straight's parents and twin brother Matthew, also a graduate of Chris McCarron's Racing Academy, were on their way to Chicago to help the jockey in his recovery.

Michael Straight is a native of East Greenbush, N.Y., and got his first career win March 6 at Tampa Bay Downs

The North American Racing Academy, the first professional jockey school in the United States, is located at the Thoroughbred Training Center on Paris Pike. It teaches students the fundamentals of professional riding and horse care.

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