With the Belmont Stakes taking place tomorrow, Gretchen Atwood checked in a few days ago and asked if Uni Watch planned any coverage of New York State’s “odd rules for jockey silks.” When Uni Watch confessed a deep and abiding ignorance of the subject, Atwood pointed Uni Watch toward this page, which includes the following: “In most places there are no restrictions on how silks can look, but in New York, where the New York Jockey Club regulates colors, the rules are very stringent.”
The next stop was the New York Jockey Club’s silks registration page, which has a series of interesting links. This page lists some very basic rules; this PDF file shows the 52 jacket-design templates and 19 sleeve-design templates that are eligible for registration; and this PDF file is the silk-colors registration form, where applicants are supposed to draw their design onto an endearingly crude template. It’s all rather impressively geeky.
Uni Watch knows relatively little about the ponies, but there’s no denying that silks (which are actually made of nylon, not silk) look totally cool — the old ones, the current ones, even the illustrations of them. Check out this gallery — amazing stuff. Want a set of your own? These guys appear to have the goods. And if you want some good historical background, look here.
As for the Belmont, you can see the lineup of silks (and, yes, the horses too) here. Uni Watch is particularly intrigued by the designs being worn by the jockeys for Sacred Light, Bluegrass Cat, Deputy Glitters, and SunRiver.
Coming up any day now: Full Uni Watch coverage of greyhound silks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Good article here about Wisconsin high school softball unis, some of which are sleeveless (with thanks to Louis Mercer). … Dwyane Wade’s shorts fell down during last night’s NBA Finals game, revealing his super-padded compression shorts (screen-grab courtesy of Uni Watch webmaster John Ekdahl). … Speaking of the NBA: As is customary, the Mavericks are wearing a jersey patch of the Larry O’Brien Trophy on their upper right chest area. But the Heat are the one team that wears the NBA logo on that side, so they’re wearing the trophy patch on the other side.