Innovative Jockey Silks Hit Grand Slam

Accelerate’s Breeders’ Cup Classic win follows Justify’s triple crown

Amarillo, Texas – November 5, 2018  —  Jockey Joel Rosario was wearing an innovative style of jockey silks in Saturday’s $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G-I) aboard Accelerate: Speed Silks®, the same brand worn by Mike Smith in all three of Justify’s 2018 Triple Crown races.

The new style of jockey silks –launched a little more than five years ago– are made entirely of Aero Dimplex®, a patented aerodynamically-engineered technical fabric that is dimpled to reduce drag. It’s used in uniforms for other speed sports like cycling, downhill skiing and speed skating, but Speed Silks are the only jockey silks that use Aero Dimplex.

copyright Darron Cummings AP

Speed Silks inventor and company owner Matt Darby says he’s not surprised by the success that his customers have had on the track, but that he didn’t expect to see so many huge wins so quickly after opening his doors. In addition to this year’s Kentucky Derby (G-I), Preakness Stakes (G-I), Belmont Stakes (G-I) and Breeders’ Cup Classic wins, jockeys wearing Speed Silks have also won the 2017 Belmont Stakes, 2016 Kentucky Derby, 2016 Preakness Stakes and 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“That’s pretty good for a product that didn’t even exist five years ago,” Darby says. “We’ve been blessed by having some very talented trainers, aggressive owners and fast horses using our product, but I don’t want to undersell the importance of aerodynamic drag in horse racing; it’s critical – more important than weight, in fact.”

Darby says the aerodynamic advantages of his product were a tough sell at first, but that steady growth has been an encouraging sign. 2018 has seen some of the product’s fastest growth ever.

“The Aero Dimplex fabric allows us to make silks that are definitely distinctive, but don’t go too far afield from what people would clearly identify as jockey silks,” Darby says. “As much attention as we paid to making them as aerodynamically-efficient as possible, we get so many orders from owners who just like the way they look.”

The silks have a dimpled texture which, when combined with Speed Silks’ form-fitting design, greatly reduces skin friction and form drag. Colors and markings are applied to the silks via dye-sublimation, a process that dyes the color directly onto the fabric, making the silks entirely seamless, no matter how complex the design.

Darby says jockey feedback has been universally positive; Unlike the Spandex or Nylon used in other silks, Aero Dimplex fabric is thin, breathable and it wicks moisture away from the skin. This summer, Speed Silks added a new technology to its product: a treatment called Coldblack®, which blocks and reflects almost all ultraviolet light. Speed Silks now help keep the jockey much cooler in direct sunlight.

Speed Silks are patent-pending. The product lineup includes silks jackets, racing helmet covers, jockey pants and a product unique to Speed Silks: Aero Dimplex boot sleeves. Examples of the product can be seen at Matt Darby is available for comment at (806) 570-6920 or Customers wishing to inquire about Speed Silks can e-mail or call (806) 333-8589.  Asia-Pacific customers e-mail

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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