Although Vronsky is running late, he keeps his promise to see his friend, Briansky. Then he books it to the racetrack just in time for his race. He has missed all the other races, which is bad form.
Vronsky avoids Princess Betsy and Anna, instead spending time saying hello to acquaintances.
Vronsky bumps into his brother, Alexander, who is both an alcoholic and a perfect courtier. He's aware that he's talking to his brother about something unpleasant while a lot of people are watching, so Alexander keeps a pleasant expression on his face while he tells him that Vronsky has been seen near Anna's estate, and that people are talking.
Vronsky gets angry, something he does seldom, so he upsets his brother. Alexander tells Vronsky to answer his mother's letter and not to get upset before the race.
Psyching himself up, Vronsky doesn't even look over at the pavilion where he's told Anna is sitting.
Vronsky, given the number seven before the race, lines up with sixteen other officers. He's told to mount his horse. Frou Frou continues to be over-excited.
As they trot towards the starting line, Malkhotin gallops noisily past Vronsky, upsetting Frou Frou and angering Vronsky. Frou Frou continues to be difficult for Vronsky to control because she's so heated up about the race.