Jockey's-eye view - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

THURSDAY, September 2, 2010

Jockey's-eye view

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DEL MAR, Calif. (CBS 8) - Many of us can only dream about being a jockey, but dream no more. You can view a horse race through a camera attached to the head of a jockey. News 8's Larry Himmel has more of the incredible view.

Joel Rosario has been a jockey since he was 14 years old.

"I started riding horses in the Dominican Republic," Joel said.

At age 25, he is Del Mar's leading rider. On Wednesday, Joel agreed to take our six-ounce camera along with him as he put his 115-pound frame aboard a 1,200-pound thoroughbred for a 40 mile-per-hour ride. But first, a brief chat with Doug O'Neill, who trains Quoted, Joel's mount in this race.

"We want a really good video of a win," Doug said.

Then it's riders up and off to the track.

"It's a lot of work. You really have to know what kind of horse you have," Joel said.

Eight horses quickly loaded into the gate, and then they're off.

As Joel settles Quoted in just off the pace, there is an eerie silence along the backstretch -- just the sound of wind and hooves, the rider barely moving.

"You have to really work hard, do a lot of exercise. You have to keep your legs strong. When you have your legs strong, that's when you get support of the horses better. You have more control of the horses," Joel said.

Even with all of their strength and skill, jockeys remain at the mercy of their mounts.

"When they want to go somewhere, you cannot really stop them," Joel said.

For Quoted and Joel Rosario, it's time to go.

"It's a really good feeling when you're turning for home and you ask your horse to go and he goes. That's a great feeling, like you know you have a chance to win," Joel said.

Under the urging of Rosario, Quoted takes the lead in the final furlong, but is nipped on the wire by Silver Squall ridden by Pat Venezuela. A tough loss, but Joel takes it all in stride.

Joel would go on to win two races on Wednesday's Del Mar card. He now has 45 wins on the season.

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