Field Trip: Giddy Up! Harness racing at Yonkers Raceway

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Ryan Field goes harness racing at Yonkers Raceway in this week's Field Trip.

With the annual Kentucky Derby on Saturday, what better time to head to Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and do a little horse racing ourselves?

No, we weren't riding on top of the horse like a jockey. Instead, we were riding behind the horse in a two-wheeled cart called a sulky. They race on a gravel track, and can reach speeds of 35 MPH. The average "driver" weighs about 160 pounds, but between me and my instructor Joe, we were pushing a combined 400 pounds, so our top speed was roughly 15-20 mph.

Harness racing is popular at horse racing tracks around the country, and as we found out, there is a lot to like about it. Thankfully our horse, Declaration of War, was a good sport and took us on a fun ride.

Those who wanted even more fun were able to head to Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway Saturday, watch the Derby and participate in the track's 4th annual Kentucky Derby Hat Contest. People wearing their wild and wacky Derby hats had a chance to walk away with the $500 grand prize.

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sportshorsesKentucky DerbyYonkersWestchester County
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