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At every race track across the country there is a Jockey's Room, yet most fans of racing are unaware of what goes on inside.


Valets and officials hustle about, always thinking ahead, constantly making adjustments to ensure that the races run on schedule. It's done so smoothly that it goes unnoticed by most, but it is also no small task.

Valets are also part of a different scene within the room. In the midst of the buzz of activity, they keep a sense of calm around the riders they work for. As their personal aide, they clean and prepare the equipment the jockeys will use in each race and provide whatever else they may need.

It is also in this room where jockeys mentally prepare to ride, and where they unwind in the aftermath, a startling contrast to the constant whirl of motion that goes on around them.

I was invited inside Gulfstream Park's "Jocks Room" by valet Eric Messiah to see first hand what takes place within this hidden world. Messiah explains to me, "it’s the engine room; this is where it all goes on".