Silks, also known as “colors”, are the colorful jackets and helmet covers that a jockey wears in a race; they are used to silently announce the owner of the horse and to also help identify the horse and jockey during the race. Each registered owner in each racing jurisdiction in the United States has their own unique set of silks. According to The Jockey Club, there are over 28,000 sets of registered silks in the United States today!
Unless you are actively involved on the backside of a racetrack, much of racehorse ownership is hands off; you likely do not see your horse daily and you are probably not making all of the day-to-day decisions when it comes to the management of your horse. For example, if you have purchased pieces of a racehorse in a syndicate (more about syndicates can be found here), the horse’s jockey is most likely going to wear the syndicate silks. However, if you form your own partnership with friends or family, or own your horse(s) outright, you will be able to design your stable’s silks including: colors chosen, pattern design, and materials used.
One commonly used handicapping tactic for newcomers is placing a wager on the horse whose jockey is wearing a “cool” set of silks!
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