The horses do not start in the parade ring, though, as after being transported to the track and checked over, most horses go through the pre-parade ring first.
This is situated closer to the stables and the horses are not kitted out yet with racing equipment such as their saddle. The horses are led around by their grooms, with the process designed to help them stay warm and focused.
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Racegoers can get an early look at the horses without saddling equipment to assess their raceday demeanour and fitness. Nearer race time, horses will move from the pre-parade ring to the main paddock.
A major selling point for racing is how close racegoers can get to the heart of the action in situations like this, where it is possible to get a really good look at the horses before the race. While this is far from an exact science, things to look out for include whether the horse is moving well and is in good condition with a shiny coat.
In this Final Segment, We Experience the Horse’s First Real Horse Race
If a horse becomes sweaty or noticeably anxious, its chance of success in the race may be affected. Watching inexperienced horses like two-year-olds is always fascinating, as pre-race behaviour can provide a clue as to what their temperament is likely to be out on the track. The horses will be unsaddled so the jockeys can weigh in and connections will often pose for photos, pick up their prizes and do some interviews.
The horses are often kept moving around slowly by their grooms in order to help them recover from their exertions and washing down is a regular occurrence at this stage. There are horse racing stables at every racecourse. From the track's beginning its unique atmosphere has been emphasized. Keeneland's first president, Headley, explained "We want a place where those who love horses can come picnic with us and thrill to the sport of the Bluegrass.
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Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society.
Keeneland Grandstand : This postcard shows the racetrack and grandstand at Keeneland. Leaving the Keeneland Paddock : This historic postcard shows a jockey and horse leaving the saddling paddock at Keeneland. Saddling Paddock at Keeneland : This historic photograph postcard shows the saddling paddock at Keeneland.
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Silks : These jockey silks were worn by Henry Forrest. Forrest was one of the most successful trainers in Keeneland history. He also trained two Kentucky Derby winners. Get Directions.