Some children want bicycles. Some want skateboards. Michael Straight wanted an Equicizer.
Growing up in East Greenbush, about 40 miles south of Saratoga, Michael and his twin brother Matthew were obsessed with horse racing. Brought to Saratoga Race Course by their parents as children, they became instant fans.
“We fell in love with the track,” said Michael by phone this week from Lexington, Ky. “We could not stop going. We loved it that much.”
They dreamed of being jockeys, and when they were 10 or 11, estimates Michael, their parents bought them an Equicizer, a mechanical horse that jockeys use to build their strength and riding skills.
Later, both Michael and Matthew attended the North American Riding Academy in Lexington, and both were successful enough to make it to the races, Matthew in 2008, Michael the following year. But before too long, the dream come true turned into a nightmare.
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