Sunday, May 25, 2008
I had a horrible dream last night about the Belmont Stakes. I don't even want to think about it...but I did get to thinking about jockeys. These guys and gals are amazing. When people think about athletes, they tend to discount jockeys-who are probably the most fit athlete around. Jockeys must be lightweight-in this years Preakness Stakes the horses all carried 126 pounds. That weight includes the saddle and irons, and sometimes extra weights, in addition to the jockey. Alex Solis, one of my favorite jockeys, is 5'3" and weighs 112 pounds! Kent Desormeaux, winner of this years Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, so a Triple Crown Contender, weighs 2 pounds more. But the strength these guys have, and the flexibility, as well as endurance, is utterly amazing. These guys must be fit, after all their lives truly depend on it. A bad spill can result in broken bones, even death, and most jockeys do have spills at one time or another. The general public sees them on a horse for a 2 minute race three times a year. However, the big races are not the only races of the day-these guys race several horses a day. So when you think about athletes, don't forget the jockeys.