Sunday, March 29, 2009
I visited the Silks Room at Santa Anita this week, and was absolutely enthralled by all the gorgeous colors and the sheer number of jockey silks in one location. There are between 6,000 and 7,000 sets of silks (also called "colors") in the Santa Anita silks room.
Each racehorse owner, stable, or partnership racing at the meet has a set in its own distinctive design and colors. At Santa Anita, all the silks are catalogued and overseen by Jake Mullins, who pulls and organizes the silks to be worn by each jockey, for every race each race day, having them ready for quick changes between races. At the end of the race day, all of that day's silks are laundered and re-hung. Talk about a lot of laundry!
Worldwide, there are more than 30,000 different jockey silks designs registered with The Jockey Club. Owners racing in New York are required to register their colors with The Jockey Club; however, in California owners must simply register their silks design with the racing office at the track.