In the Jocks Room on Kentucky Derby Day, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-06


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In the Jocks Room on Kentucky Derby Day By STERLING YOUNG Secretary and Eastern Manager of The Jockeys Guild The Jockeys room at Churchill Downs is filled with the top riders in the country on Derby Day. Ive ridden in two Derbys and, though I never finished in the money, Ill always remember the thrill of participating in the big event. Its exciting to catch the huge crowd pouring into the track. Theres a mounting air of tension in the jockeys room. The riders with Derby mounts like to ride a race or two before the big one as a sort of tune-up and to relax their nerves and muscles. While changing their colors or waiting for the next race, every jockey in the room is discussing the prospects of this and that horse; how he trained; his chances on a muddy track; whether hell last the distance. While the first few races are being run the crowd continues to pour in and the tension increases. Each rider is wondering whether he will come back to the jocks room the proud winner of the wreath of roses. Suddenly the band starts playing "My Old Kentucky Home." and the post parade begins. You tret that Sterling Young supreme sensation and .feel that, win or lose, youve hit the . highest spot of your career. The next few minutes youre busy trying to get your mount there first; then its all over. Even if youre not the lucky one, youre, happy for the jock who did win and join the crowd around him. You offer your congratulations and help in the general back thumping. Newspapermen and photographers gather around him; there are flash bulbs popping and reporters wanting to know whether he won easily, was it just a lucky break, or did he really think he had the best horse, and hundreds of other questions. Its one of the greatest moments in the life of av jockey. . Im . j giad I shared in it. . -

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