It's almost always about the ability and power of the horse.
If you have the fastest and strongest horse, you should win most of the time in thoroughbred racing.
But there are other factors. Dozens of them. Luck being one of them.
However, the ability of the jockey is always a huge factor. A rider with skill, intelligence, experience and physical strength can often change the results of a race.
A tough, experienced jockey can lead his horse on the shortest trip around the track and help him steal a win over the fastest horse.
An intelligent jockey can assess the field, hold off on his charge until the last moment and steal the victory at the wire.
Here's a look at the 10 best jockeys in the Unites States right now.