Hey! We're in the same boat! I'm on the look out for an OTTB :)
If you think about it, race horses DO listen to their rider. They have to wait to be told when to go all out.. They don't just run full speed for a mile :p And at the end of the race, the jockey slows them down. They've most likely been clipped, bathed, and shod before.
I've been doing a lot of research and I am very surprised about how much you can expect from them, generally of course. I'm sure when I get mine (assuming its 3+ months off the track) I'm going to do a lot of lunging so I can establish vocal commands before I get on, just in case ;). I read somewhere that you should be able to get a walk/trot/canter without any major episodes on the first ride if the horse is sane, but I don't know if I am going to ask for a canter (maybe not even a trot) on the first ride. After all, they're not even used to having legs on them. :/ I'm no expert though!
Just keep on researching! :)
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman