The phrase "winning hands down" comes from jockeys

The phrase “winning hands down” is now used in every area of our lives. However, it originally came from a fairly obscure sport. The phrase originated in horse racing, and with jockeys in particular. In horse racing, a jockey needs to keep a tight hold of the reins in order to push their horse forward and win the race. If they get so far ahead of the competition that it is impossible to lose, the jockey could release the reins and drop their hands, allowing the horse to slowly cross the finish line.