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A day in the life of a Saratoga racehorse

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The tradition, history and prestige of Saratoga are built on the horse.

The actual minute and fifteen that a horse is racing, that's too quick. You need to get to know the sport as a whole, get to know the horse, the animals, said Trainer Dale Romans as he introduced CBS6 News to Prayer for Relief, a six year old horse. He is getting ready to run in the Whitney Stakes Saturday.

Trainer Dale Romans said that Prayer for Relief works just about every day, but only for a matter of minutes. His workouts, like many other racehorses, range from jogging to speed work.

CBS6 met Prayer for Relief on a light workout day. Romans said he had done speed work the day before.

I just want the rider to come back and tell me that everything is good, said Romans.

You can see in the horses eyes, that he is driven. Romans said that is his personality.

At this point in his career he's a big strong horse, said Romans. He's all business, all the time. He knows what hes here for. He's done it enough. We're not trying to teach him anything. We're just trying to keep him happy.

That means long walks, massages for the horse and lots of hay. Romans said health is a big piece as well. The horses are constantly monitored and any change in behavior could be a red flag.

Health always comes first, but they run hand in hand. If they aren't healthy they wont be happy, he said.

Two days before the Whitney Stakes, Prayer for Relief had his own security. Romans said NYRA provides that for competitors in big races like the Whitney.

Romans said the industry is increasingly focused on a finding a second job for the horses when their racing career is through.

They are only going to race four or five years. They can live to be 30 years old, so we need to find them good homes, he said.

And he thinks that mission will become easier, the more people learn about these athletes and become their fans.
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