Riddle: Ten men, five women, and 15 three-year-olds are being watched by thousands of cheering people. The men and the women and the three-year-olds are observed slowly entering 15 box-like structures, each having iron bars in the front. The men and women are not related to the three-year-olds, but at times witnesses have reported seeing these adults whip these three-year-olds to force them to obey their commands. Fortunately, the barred doors suddenly spring open and the men, women, and three-year-olds make their escape; however, they are easily tracked, as they always feel compelled to travel to the left, and never to the right. The thousands of people watching these proceedings are all waiting to see who will be the first to meet their end. These circumstances are inexcusable in a civilized society! How can thousands of people just idly sit by and cheer while a group of men and women whip a bunch of three-year-olds before their very eyes? What is wrong with society? Or, is there a simple explanation for these bizarre-sounding events? Just what exactly is going on here?
Answer: With a maximum of 20 entrants in each race, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes feature only three-year-old thoroughbreds racing from their starting gates to their end at the finish line. Not all of the jockeys use whips on their horses, but many still do. By the way, to answer the title question: at the start of every race, they are not on —— They’re off!!!