Apprentice jockey Mike Straight notched the first win from his first career ride March 6 at Tampa Bay Downs in the sixth race aboard Ready Ruler for trainer Michael Thomas and owner Leighton Evans.
Straight, who is a graduate of Chris McCarron’s North American Racing Academy, is the twin brother of Maryland jockey Matthew Straight. Born and raised outside of Saratoga Springs, New York, Straight was exposed to horse racing at an early age and said that his parents encouraged his love of horses and riding since his childhood.
“I’ve always been interested in riding; I’ve always gone to the races and I’ve always wanted to be a jockey,” Straight said. “My parents were all for it - when I was about nine, they bought my brother and me an Equicizer to practice on. It’s taken years of dedication and practice and watching races to get here, and I really have to thank Chris McCarron and the school and my parents and brother for helping me out.”
Mike Straight’s victory aboard Ready Ruler yielded a record Daily Double payout for Tampa Bay Downs. The selection of Proud Aly in the fifth race and Ready Ruler produced a payout of $6,638.60 for a $2 wager, shattering the old record of $3,320 set on Jan. 17, 1950.