After the horses left the starting gate, we left too, and walked over to the gate where the horses would return after the race. From our position on the racecourse, we were unable to determine which horse had won that particular race, but we did take a picture of the returning jockey whose horse had been so nervous at the start (see Part III for a photo of the nervous horse).
After each race, the jockey rides the winning horse into the winner’s circle where photographers and admirers gather around to take pictures. In the picture above, the jockey had already dismounted and walked away before we got a chance to photograph him. He didn’t stay to bask in the glory of victory!
Gina had been telling us about a technique, called the “hand ride,” that jockeys use to get their horses to run faster, especially in the home stretch. Using a harness, she showed Monique how tightening the reins helps the jockey stay in harmony with the movement of the animal. At that point, the jockey shoves the horse’s neck forward with each forward movement of the neck during the gallop, giving extra impetus to the horse’s rhythm, making it run faster. For a video demonstration of the hand ride, follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVHEoy1o_BY.
After watching a couple of thrilling races and feeling the excitement in the air, I decided to put my money down on a horse. I sensed that Lady Luck would smile on me that day.
Tomorrow: I win big at the racetrack!
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