2. Drivers, Not Jockeys, Ride the Horses

Driver Jordan Stratton talks with Untapped Cities Insiders in the paddock before a race

Unlike in thoroughbred horse racing, where jockeys need to meet specific height and weight requirements, harness racing drivers do not have such restrictions. Drivers, also unlike jockeys, are not restricted to riding one horse. Drivers are assigned by the horses’ trainers and owners and can be assigned to multiple horses throughout the night. If a driver is assigned to two different horses during the same race, he gets to decide which one he will ride.

When Untapped Cities Insiders visited Yonkers Raceway on a previous behind-the-scenes tour, we got to chat with driver Jordan Stratton, who that night was racing 10 different horses! The drivers are also allowed to wear their own colors no matter which horse they are racing with, whereas in thoroughbred racing the driver wears the owner’s colors.

Drivers’ suits hanging in the locker room