Camels and ostriches on the track
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Camels and ostriches on the track

Friday night at the Meadowlands

We don’t usually spend Friday afternoons and evenings at the race track.

But if anything could convince us to trade Friday night Kiddush for Friday night betting, it would the sort of event scheduled at the Meadowlands today: a one-two punch of camel and ostrich racing.

What?

It turns out that while camels and ostriches pose no threat to horses — and that includes our local equine hero, American Pharoah — this Friday, June 12, will be the fourth annual Ostrich Derby and Cameltonian.

Last year, Hannah Keyser reported on the event for Mental Floss. As she discovered, camel handlers apparently consider it a victory if all four camels run in the correct direction — which they did last year, finishing their run in 20 seconds.

The ostrich race, in which the large-bodied, small-brained birds were yoked to chariots, was even more speedy. That’s even though an ostrich’s top speed, 25 miles per hour, is less than a camel’s, which at 35 miles per hour is as fast as a race horse. (American Pharoah averaged 36 mph.)

From 2014.
From 2014.

To see last year’s races for yourself, click over to the Mental Floss article and bit.ly/js-camel. And that you can do without missing Shabbat dinner.

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