Fed Biz, with Mike Smith up in standard colours pre Speed Silks wins the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita, Dec 26, 2013. Note the pronounced ‘ballooning’ effect of the body and the sleeves of these conventional colours in action. As you can see, a jockey wearing traditional, old fashioned gear is basically a big parachute on top of the horse. Every single flap pulls backwards on the jockey and therefore, the horse.
Compare the above image with the two images below.
Fed Biz, with Martin Garcia aboard in aerodynamic Speed Silks, wins the featured Grade II $200,000 San Diego Handicap in track record time of 1:41 flat for the mile and one-sixteenth at Del Mar, July 26, 2014. Now you can observe the form-fitting colours and the minimal flap that they generate means a significant reduction in the amount of aerodynamic drag (wind resistance) that the jockey’s body creates.
All Speed Silks products are form-fitting; that, in addition to the special material from which they are made, reduces the amount of aerodynamic drag the jockey’s body creates in 3 ways:
The “kite tail” effect, where the jockey’s silks and pants make a lot of noise during a race. That noise is his clothing flapping in the wind. Every single flap pulls backwards on the jockey and therefore, the horse. All Speed Silks products are form-fitting and almost seamless, so they don’t flap in the wind as the horse and jockey move through the air.
“Skin friction” is the friction created as air is dragged across a surface; in this case, the jockey. The textured surface of the Aero Dimplex creates tiny pockets of turbulence along the surface of the jockey. While it may seem counter-intuitive, that’s what allows the rider to “slip” through the air more freely.
Also “form drag” comes into play. As a jockey moves through the air, a low-pressure pocket develops behind him. Cyclists and NASCAR drivers already know about this phenomenon, and take advantage of it by “drafting” closely behind another competitor. Race horses can’t “draft,” but the Aero Dimplex special texture decreases the size of this low-pressure pocket by allowing the air to flow more smoothly around the rider. This reduces the backward pull on the jockey. Conversely, the greater the surface area, the greater the size of this low-pressure pocket.