Longform: How Ray Handal wins the workout
The Battle of the Racetrack ... New York-based trainer Ray Handal takes up his position in the Clocker's House at Belmont Park's Training Track on Sunday morning. From his spot, Handal observes workouts, communicates with staff, and gets a feel for his horse's fitness.
Bodies in motion ... Handal and his chief assistant Eli, check the board ... after some cancellations, they have to make adjustments concerning how the morning workouts will proceed. Patience and flexibility are names of the game ...
Green Light ... Just before his runners head to training, Ray Handal takes one more look ... checking to make sure everything is set.
Riders Up! Members of the Davis Family ... Jackie, Dylan, and Katie, take their mounts out for trainer Ray Handal on a Sunday morning.
Fit as can be ... Jackie Davis finishes up her training ride aboard Kemba, while trainer Ray Handal asks a series of questions. The discussion continues back at the barn, as an integral part of workout assessment.
The leading rider from the Winter Meet, jockey Dylan Davis takes time to chat with Ray Handal about his breeze. Davis considers exercising horses in the morning to be a good way to maintain fitness before an afternoon of live racing.
Where it pays off ... Trainer Ray Handal offers a kind word to jockey Jalon Samuel just before a leg up in the Aqueduct Paddock before the feature on Sunday ... the final day of the Winter Meet. Samuel regularly takes Handal's mounts, and the pair have formed a strong bond.