Watch Kentucky Derby horses travel in style aboard 'Air Horse One'
4:23

Watch Kentucky Derby horses travel in style aboard 'Air Horse One'

Culture
[MUSIC] On a quiet Saturday morning in Ontario California, this crew is getting ready for a very special flight. [MUSIC] Right there, wrap up the belly. Full of very special passengers. Just these horses alone were easily $30 million worth. These super stars are hitching a ride to Louisville Kentucky. On Air Horse One, a dedicated horse charter that flies all over the US. Today we have a horse called Game Winner and another one called Roadster. Mike Payne, head of operations at Tex Hutton's forwarding company, is on the ground in Louisville to receive them. They're both running in But, there is a little added pressure when you have horses of that caliber on board to make sure everything goes smoothly and on time.>> Their trainer Bob Baffert is waiting to welcome them too. The whole key of getting here, because, a lot of things can happen with horses. They can kick the wall, they can do something. A lot of anxiety, when you run animals things can happen. Making it all the more important for this flight to run smoothly. It's just a regular freight airplane, but it becomes specialized when we install the horse stalls. The containers that hold the horses during flight. Going row by row, the crew will have to secure each wall to a specialized track on the ground. We always have a crew of five people that load the horses, take care of them during flight. On today's flight the team will only have to build 13 stalls. One for every horse on board but this place can carry up to 21 passengers. They are fed hay to keep them occupied during flight. They're periodically watered off. It's all part of the star treatment, that and a temperature controlled cabin. We keep the cabin at about 55 degrees to keep the horses more docile and comfortable. A single ticket from California to Kentucky, were running a bet for $5,000, but it's not the only way to get your horse from point A to point B. A lot of times I ship them in a cargo plane, and they have to go there early, and then they have to wait and sit there, and then they put them in a stall, and they raise the stall, and they put it in the plane. So, it's a longer process when you're shiftng a lot of horses. You can only shoot up so many horses that way. That's where this custom ramp makes all the difference. But for Mike, it's not just about speeding up the process. We walk them on and walk them off. It's just more natural for a horse than it is to be moved around in a box and rolled around on conveyors. It's just more natural form of the more comfortable watching up that ramp now is game-winner cross chains attached to his halter keep him and the rest of the horses from turning around during flight one last month to the camera and they're off that's our Pilots when we take off they take off at a. A flatter deck altitude. They make wider turns. And the same thing descending to land. They descend slower. You don't want to give horses too many positive Gs or too many negative Gs. You give a horse too many positive Gs, sometimes their feet can slip out from under them. Or if you give them too many negative Gs, you can float them. And then they scramble trying to find the The floor under them. It's just that it's unsafe for them if you do that. Their cross-country journey from Ontario Louisville takes three and a half hours. On board, cameras are strictly forbidden. There they are. It's a slow taxi in, but once the plane hits the brakes, Mike and his crew spring into action. To keep them comfortable we try to make Our time on the ground is limited in short as possible. The team moves quickly, taking apart each stall, walking every horse on the ramp and securing them onto the truck that'll take them to their final destination. Churchill Downs, and when they finally arrived with just days away from Derby, Bob is feeling. Relieved. Relieved. They worked yesterday and they got here. They look good. As for who will win top prize? I think it's gonna be a jockey's race, mind. If they ride a smart race, they can win. [MUSIC]

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