Betting the ponies may be a game of chance, but the horses you see racing down the track at the Preakness, Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Derby didn’t get there by luck. For decades, people like Jeffrey Seder and Patrice Miller have spent countless hours measuring, weighing, analyzing and poring over mountains and mountains of physical data on thousands and thousands of wannabe thoroughbreds. In the end, only the ones with the right genes (and the right heart) make it to the big time.

Produced in partnership with True.Ink.  

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Jordan Schulkin is a video editor for True.Ink, the experiential magazine behind The People’s Horse, the first crowd-sourced racehorse.