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Low-Wage America: Keeneland Race Course

James Graham, a horse exercise rider from Ireland.
Noah Adams, NPR /
James Graham, a horse exercise rider from Ireland.
Carlos Goadiana, a horse groom from Texas.
Noah Adams, NPR /
Carlos Goadiana, a horse groom from Texas.

NPR's Noah Adams continues his road trip north along the I-75 freeway from Tennessee to Michigan -- this time stopping in Lexington, Ky., to visit the training stables at Keeneland Race Course.

He talks with three workers at the track -- James Graham, an exercise rider from Ireland; Carlos Goadiana, a groom from Texas; and Maria (who asked that NPR not use her last name) a "hot walker" from Mexico.

All three jobs are seven days a week, without holidays. But despite the rigors of the track and stables -- the pre-dawn muster, the long hours, the sometimes back-breaking labor and risk of injury -- each finds a degree of satisfaction in the tasks, because of a shared love of horses.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Noah Adams, long-time co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, brings more than three decades of radio experience to his current job as a contributing correspondent for NPR's National Desk., focusing on the low-wage workforce, farm issues, and the Katrina aftermath. Now based in Ohio, he travels extensively for his reporting assignments, a position he's held since 2003.
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