From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday,
August 17, every jockey riding at Saratoga Race Course will be available
to sign a spectacular photo of the entire jockey colony to benefit
injured jockey Michael Straight.
For a $10 donation, fans will get a copy
of the photo, featuring the riders lined up in the paddock in front of
the statue of Sea Hero, and each rider's autograph, with all proceeds
going to help Straight, who grew up in East Greenbush, N.Y., not far
Straight, who was paralyzed from the
waist down in a spill at Arlington Park in 2009, has volunteered to work
with The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and begun walking in a bionic
exoskeleton. The exoskeleton provides upright ambulation for people with
spinal cord injuries and gives them the ability to stand and walk again
on their own. Straight, who suffered head and spinal injuries, has
progressed to the point where he has walked for eight minutes, 25
seconds and taken 126 steps.
"We are so appreciative of The Miami
Project, what they have done and are continuing to do," said Hall of
Famer John Velazquez, Chairman of the Jockeys' Guild and Board member of
the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). "This research is very
important for so many lives, including a number of jockeys who receive
support from the PDJF, as well as other individuals in the racing
industry. We are so proud of Michael. His hard work and determination is
inspiring to all of us."
The signing will take place on the Saratoga Silks Room porch.