How Race Horses Get Made

How Race Horses Get Made

Standing on a cement platform outside barn 40 on the backstretch of Belmont Park, Frazil made for an imposing sight. His groom, Jose Meza, was bathing him, carefully spraying warm water on his body as Frazil stood there, calm and composed. It was easy to see why he had won 7 of the 12 races he had entered 2012. He was a big, handsome gelding—a rangy animal whose grace and elegance presented itself with remarkable, unmistakable lucidity. Even as he stood there, relaxing after a tough morning workout, with his big ears pinning out, he made for a grandiose sight, with his bay coat glistening in the midday sunlight. He looked every bit an athlete—he was all muscle and he was perceptibly bigger than the other racehorses in the barn. There was a rare imperiousness about him.

It was half past nine on Monday of the Thanksgiving week and Frazil had just finished galloping a mile and a half, something that he had done almost every day of the last year, on the tracks at the 430-acre complex at Belmont Park. The park is like a world unto itself. Birds of different colors and varieties, ranging from the Red-bellied Woodpecker to the Yellow-rumped Warbler swoop over even as grooms and jockeys go about their daily routines.

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