Rick Wills of Rick's Saddle Shop and Purina have come to the aid of the six drivers injured in a dramatic spill in the fifth race on January 10 at Freehold Raceway.
Approached by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, Wills and Purina responded with a $700 gift certificate, redeemable for Purina Equine Feed, for each of the injured drivers: Cat Manzi, Debra Rucker, Vincent Ginsburg, Chris Scicluna, Jim Pantaleano and Rick Pantano.
"The SBOANJ went to Rick for his help, and he and Purina were quick to step up and offer something that will help these horsemen get back on their feet,” said SBOANJ President Tom Luchento. "We greatly appreciate their solid effort on behalf of these horsemen. Hopefully, there will be others who will make similar offers.”
Rick's Saddle Shops are located in Cream Ridge and Englishtown, NJ.
The dramatic spill unseated all six drivers when the starting gate car lost control and slid into the field as it entered the first turn. Hall of Famer Manzi and Rucker are still hospitalized. Manzi has multiple broken ribs and a punctured lung while Rucker has a leg injury.
The accident will be the subject of a special meeting of horsemen and track management on Wednesday, Jan. 15, in the Renaissance Room at Freehold Raceway at 4 p.m. (SBOANJ)