Rocket Fuel
Please provide a valid email address.
Close

Blog - LEGENDS

Secretariat's silks are some of the most recognizable in horse racing. (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

One of the first things many people notice when seeing a horse on the track is the silks worn by their their jockey. Some silks automatically become favorites due to their design, and the silks of Triple Crown winners are no different.

While it was a hard task to rank the silks due to both the history and designs on the silks, I have put them in order of preference due mostly to their designs but also in some cases due in part to their history. If you don’t agree with my rankings, be sure to rank the silks in the comments below!

Rank

Silks

Horse

Owner

1

 Calumet

Whirlaway/Citation

Calumet

Simple and to the point, the Calumet silks worn by Whirlaway and Citation made it easy to spot the horses but weren’t too busy for the eyes to take in what they were seeing. In the epic battles between Affirmed and Alydar, it was also easy to see where Affirmed’s rival was because eyes were drawn to the “devil” red silks and blue helmet cover that Alydar’s jockey wore.

2

 Secretariat

Secretariat

Meadow Stable

While being worn by Secretariat and Riva Ridge helps the case for the Meadow Stable silks, when it comes to history the overall picture of the silks on a jockey also helps their case for a high ranking. While it looks a little weird to have checkers on the body of silks and stripes on the arms, somehow it all flows together. In Secretariat’s case, the silks are completed by the colt’s checkered blinkers.

3

 Affirmed

Affirmed

Harbor View Farm

When looking at paintings of the Harbor View Farm silks, they don’t look overly attractive. But look at the silks when they are on a jockey and you see how paintings can be deceiving. While there were times on the track where it was debatable if the body of the silks were light pink or white due to the lighting, the light pink and black made for a good photo every time the colt entered the winner’s circle.

4

 KingRanch

Assault

King Ranch

Assault brought a little bit of “cowboy” to the track during his Triple Crown bid in his 1946 when running for King Ranch.

5

 SamRiddle

War Admiral

Sam Riddle

Fitting of his name, War Admiral’s silks looked like something you would see on a ranked member of the military. The stripes on the sleeves take a bit away from the “clean” military look but definitely would help make the Sam Riddle-owned horses easier to spot in bigger field.  In addition to War Admiral, these silks carry a lot of the racing industry’s history with Man o’ War’s jockeys also wearing these silks in the early 1920s.

6

 CountFleet

Count Fleet

Fannie Hertz

Unfortunately, there are no color photos of Count Fleet’s yellow silks, but it’s hard to believe that they would have been anything but easy to spot in a race. Yellow with two black circles on the sleeves, Fannie Hertz’s silks probably looked even more striking on the brown Count Fleet, especially as the colt wore blinkers during on race day.

7

 SeattleSlew

Seattle Slew

Karen L. Taylor

Black and yellow were the favorite colors of racing in 1977 when Seattle Slew became the first undefeated horse to win the Triple Crown, and it’s easy to see why. Slew’s silks have kind of a bee feel to them with the primary black coloring of the silks overlaid with yellow, including yellow stripes on the sleeves. The silks were fitting for a Kentucky-bred who it could be said floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.

8

 SirBarton

Sir Barton

J.K.L Ross

The first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton’s silks were pretty straightforward. Unlike the horse, whose trainer once said he had to be peppered with workouts in order to get fit, there was nothing complicated about the design of the silks.  The J.K.L. Ross silks had a black background with orange stripes down the arms, and on the body they weren’t the simplest design of all the Triple Crown winners but they definitely fit the role of being silks that aren’t complicated and are easy to identify.

9

 Belair

Gallant Fox/Omaha

Belair Stud

I’ll admit that I hated putting Belair Stud’s silks in last due to their history, but the design made me put them at the back of the pack. While the Belair Stud silks are easy to find in a field due to the unique pattern, I’m not a fan of polka-dotted clothing and silks are no different, especially when there’s nothing solid on the silks for the eyes to focus on, such as solid red arms.

Image Description

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Melissa Bauer-Herzog was born and raised in Vancouver, Wash. where she grew up riding horses in all-around events. After graduating from West Texas A&M with a B.S. in Mass Communication she spent the summer of 2012 interning at the United States Equestrian Federation and working at the Paulick Report. Melissa joined America’s Best Racing in December 2012 while interning with Three Chimneys Farm in their marketing communications division.

Image Description

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Melissa Bauer-Herzog was born and raised in Vancouver, Wash. where she grew up riding horses in all-around events. After graduating from West Texas A&M with a B.S. in Mass Communication she spent the summer of 2012 interning at the United States Equestrian Federation and working at the Paulick Report. Melissa joined America’s Best Racing in December 2012 while interning with Three Chimneys Farm in their marketing communications division.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Sponsors & Partners

  • FoxSports1
  • DerbyJackpot
  • NBC Sports
  • Logo 6
  • Saratoga
  • Santa Anita
  • CBS Sports
  • Monmouth
  • Keeneland
  • Gulfstream Park
  • Del Mar
  • Belmont Park
  • Arlington Park
  • OwnerView