11/12/2013 7:05PM

Fighting Chance


It’s never easy asking for help, pride being the demon that it is. But now and again it doesn’t hurt to test the waters of charity in the community that you love, which is why Laura D’Angelo is letting people in Thoroughbred racing know about her husband, the former trainer Michael D’Angelo, and his struggle with the spread of cancer first diagnosed last January.

The D’Angelos are a known quantity in the East Coast racing world. Michael, who is 55, has trained on his own for a number of well-known clients. He has worked as an assistant for such noted horsemen as Jonathan Sheppard, Barclay Tagg and Tony Dutrow. Together, Laura and Michael have bred and raised their own runners, and they know what it’s like to stand in the winner’s circle alongside one of them.

Michael’s family has set up a website called Michael's Story (that young lad beaming down from atop the racehorse Arhat being held by Michael is his nephew, Judah Rice). The site offers more of an appreciation than a plea, describing people who have devoted most of their lives to the care of Thoroughbred racehorses. The rest of us are either left admiringly bewildered by their passion, or envious.

Still, their plight will ring very familiar when it comes to the challenges faced by the D’Angelos regarding the gaps in modern-day health care coverage. This reporter is forever amazed at the generosity of the Thoroughbred community, but never surprised. If it's not an injured jockey without resources it's a herd of abandoned broodmares desperate for rescue or the children of the backstretch in need of educational support. On this I will offer very low odds: those who can help Michael undoubtedly will.

Roy Lindlar More than 1 year ago
Hi Jay, I've known Michael and Laurie since 1984. While working for Darby Dan in New York . I have never known any two people to give more of themselves to Thoroughbred Racing than Michael and Laurie. Never have I ever heard them ask for anything in return. Now Michael needs a helping hand to get well. We as Horseman ask our friends in racing of more than 30 years to please help in anyway we can. Thank you Roy Lindlar Darby Dan 1982-1991 Asst. Trainer
Roy Lindlar More than 1 year ago
Hi Jay, My name is Roy Lindlar I was Assistant Trainer with Darby Dan !982 - 1991. I met Laurie when John Veitch became Darby Dan Trainer 1984, and Michael shortly their after. We have had a close friendship ever since. Thoroughbred Racing has always been fortunate to have great Horseman from Owners, Trainers, Jockeys, Grooms, and all Barn Employees for 130 plus years. Most do it for the HORSE. Michael and Laurie did. Now Michael needs help, one of our own. Please Help.
Patty DAngelo More than 1 year ago
Hi Jay, my name is Patty D' Angelo, Michael's sister, thank you so much for your article. Michael's love for horses has always been his passion, even as a little boy. He loved them and from photos on the website you can see they loved and trusted him. Thank you Thoroughbred community for your generosity and support, you take care of your own and our family appreciates it.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the update and all the information. A true representation of your great character. Everyone should appreciate this opportunity to hear his story of Courage. Thoughts and prayers with Michael and his family. All should be interested in current health-care related medical treatment for a Employed family man seeking treatment. Jay credit to you sir for taking an article and bringing into the light.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Great post! Now hit the website and dig, everyone!
Bradford Solomon More than 1 year ago
god bless
Pamela Barnard More than 1 year ago
For those that think government run healthcare is unnecessary please look at this situation and many others in the states. I am glad Canada provides health care to all even if I have to pay more taxes for it. Those that complain in the states either have the money to buy private or have never been sick and need help. Our thoughts are with Michael and the horse racing community coming together to assist.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I don't know the man, but I reside in this cyber community and have been involved in this business in the past and felt compelled to help. Thank you for the article Jay. Positive energy for Michael!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Come on people... Let's see you all get off your butts and help this family out. We can all get on here and shoot our mouths off about this and that but I see damn little response here when there is a shot for us all to do some good! I want to see a LOT of love and help going out from alotta names that are familiar on this site and I do not mean Obamacare... that is weak.
Anne Norris More than 1 year ago
Michael is a wonderful human being and surely does not deserve this illness. We wish Mike and his family love and prayers. Anne and Duane Norris
Michael Griffiths More than 1 year ago
That is why we need O'bamacare, for these times
Greg Scherr More than 1 year ago
take your political perspective and go away, this is about a man who needs help not espousing your agenda, if Jay was able to avoid making a political statement I'm sure you could have.
noalaistoday More than 1 year ago
There are far better solutions then the ACA. They wouldn't have been able to ge on the web site to sign up anyway.