06/12/2007 11:00PM

Fund established for injured rider Lakeman

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The Backstretch Employee Service Team (BEST) has established the Andrew Lakeman Assistance Fund to benefit the jockey who was seriously injured in a spill at Belmont Park on May 25. All proceeds from the fund will be used to offset Lakeman's medical expenses and ongoing care.

Lakeman suffered severe spinal cord damage and a fractured sternum when he was thrown from his mount, Our Montana Dream, during the running of the fourth race. He remains listed in guarded condition at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. Lakeman's family has requested that the hospital release no further details about his condition.

Lakeman, 35, participated in the BEST program, which helped him to overcome an alcohol and drug addiction.

Contributions to the Fund, which are tax-deductible, should be made to BEST and designated to The Andrew Lakeman Assistance Fund. Donations can be mailed to: BEST, Belmont Park, 2150 Hempstead Turnpike,Gate 6, Cottage 28B, Elmont, NY 11003. Donations can also be made calling the BEST office at 516-488-3434.