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Arlington Park jockey recovering after spinal surgery
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/28/2009 4:34 PM

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Michael Straight, the 23-year-old apprentice jockey who was injured in a spill at Arlington Park on Wednesday, underwent spinal surgery Thursday night at Lutheran General Hospital.

"Mike's surgery was successful and everything went as planned," said Michael's twin brother, Matthew, who is also a jockey. "The doctors said it could not have gone any better.

"We know there is still a long way to go and now it's just a waiting game to see how good and how quick he heels up."

Michael Straight was taken to Lutheran General Hospital following an incident in the eighth race Wednesday. He was riding Im No Gentleman when his mount went down near the quarter pole, tossing Straight onto the track. The horse was euthanized.

"He's off the majority of sedation and we're waiting for him to come out of it on his own," Matthew said. "We know it's going to be a long road back and we're not going anywhere."

The outpouring of support from friends and well wishers has a welcome relief, according to his family.

"Everybody has been so supportive with phone calls, e-mails and even Facebook messages," Matthew said. "It hasn't gone unnoticed. Our family appreciates the support and the love. It's times like this that bring everyone together.

"Please keep Mike in your prayers."