Sport: Winning Weights

Racing's most stirring sight is a full field of fleet-footed thoroughbreds, hooves flying and necks stretched, battling evenly to the wire. But the sight is usually just a fantasy: horses often prefer simply to chase each other's tails. To make the race a better contest is the job of the track handicapper, who assigns weights—including saddle, jockey and lead slugs slipped into the saddlebags—to slow down the fast runner, give the other horses a chance to compete. At the nation's top race tracks—New York State's Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct —the man who decides how heavy a load the horses will...

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