Picks and Pans Review: Jockeys

updated 02/16/2009 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/16/2009 AT 01:00 AM EST

Animal Planet, Fridays, 9 p.m. ET |

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Bolting out of the gate, horses accelerate from 0 to 40 mph in a few seconds. This documentary series moves at a more comfortable gallop as it introduces seven jockeys heading into the annual Oak Tree Meet at the Santa Anita track in Arcadia, Calif. The most interesting characters so far are a likeable young breakout star, Joe Talamo, and a Canadian rider named Chantal Sutherland, who's in a relationship with another jockey, Mike Smith. The horses—often paired with a jockey only shortly before the race—are more enigmatic, although the premiere includes a beautiful sequence of one animal breaking free and running off. Was it proud or panicked?

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