Monday, May 17, 2010

Post Preakness Blues

I had a great time at the Preakness. I feel more a part of the photography crew at the races, I got to meet some of my favorite "Flickr Friends" (Budmeister, Rock and Racehorses and Spruceton Spook) who are wonderful racing photographers, and I got to see my old friends in the Baltimore area (especially Maggie and Lydia who helped me get Ollie!).

I was hopeful for Super Saver but didn't think he'd be able to do it for the Preakness. I really liked how First Dude moved when I saw him gallop on Friday morning as well as Lookin At Lucky. I DIDN'T like how Caracortado galloped on Friday morning. He looked like he was stiff or something. We didn't see everyone gallop.

On Preakness day, I was preparing myself for a really busy afternoon. The first race I went out to shoot was the 6th race. I thought that it might be fun if I went over to shoot the clubhouse turn for one race and then go back to my station near the finish line for the rest of the day.

While I was waiting for the race, this is what came by on the track:


They were pretty imposing up close!

Once the Budweiser Clydesdales got off the track the race went off and Comedero (on the rail in pink and black) won


After that race, I wandered back over to my station near the finish line.

Matt and I were probably most excited by the horses winning in the undercard races. Claiborne Farm's horse, Blame (a horse we have many win pictures from his previous races) won again -


and the sprinter, Taqarub (tack-ah-roob) is owned by Shadwell. For us, it felt like the home team won when he came home first with Eibar Coa wearing the distinctive Shadwell blue and white silks in the Maryland Sprint:



And we were thrilled to see the Jonathan Sheppard trained, Rainbow View win her turf race in a tough one. She is one gutsy little horse with a gutsy rider in Julien Leparoux who was sore from his big spill the day before!



And then it was time for the big race to go off. It seemed that every photographer on the planet was out to get "the shot." The tension in the air was palable. I managed to get a tight shot of Lookin At Lucky as he entered the sunlight right at the finish line and a fist pump by his young jockey Martin Garcia...


First Dude and Ramon Dominguez (a jockey that rode Hola in a few races!) both look disappointed by not catching him at the finish although they put in a terrific fight.

Speaking of First Dude, doesn't he resemble Canoodler?

First Dude:



I won't be going to The Belmont race in 3 weeks. I have too much going on. So I won't be doing too much racing photography for awhile and that makes me sad. But this means I'll have more time for my two guys who both need to be put to work!


  1. Love your photos! (as That is so cool that you were on the finish line for the races - what a great view. I watched it on tv - would love to make it to one of the big races someday...

  2. I love the hitch photos! Busch Gardens (Williamsburg) has always had the big bay Clydes, but this year the new company swapped them for smaller black Clydes. The gorgeous Budweiser harness is gone for the stables and so are all the big trunks. Wonderful to see that they still hitch up the classic red beer wagon to the classic horses!!!

    Oh yeah, and the race pictures are cool too! That's a gorgeous filly

  3. Excellent writeup w/ terrific pix! I missed the Preakness. Was in Northern California scribing for a friend taking her 'r' judge finals at Starr Vaughn Equestrian (a gorgeous facility), which was an all-day Saturday affair. Glad you had a good time. Weather looked incredible. Now go ride your ponies!!

  4. Wendy,

    Thanks so much for commenting at Graded Stakes so I could find your blog...your Preakness pics are wonderful! Do you do this professionally w/ press passes? Or was it a zoom lens from out of this world standing behind fence/rail?

    I'm a professional enthusiast and amateur handicapper (hence my handle) who finds the biomechanics of a racehorse compelling study. Check out my Santa Anita Derby pictures of SIDNEY'S CANDY's stumble if you have the chance (

    There's also a few other pics, including Preakness winner LOOKIN AT LUCKY who's been my favorite 3y.o. since last summer/fall.

    Can I ask your advice? I'm taking pics w/ my wife's camera and the whole multiple frames thing is hard to grasp. How do I position the camera and where do I aim the finder?

    I'd appreciate any help you can give.


  5. Thanks Rob for coming on over to my little blog. I shoot professionally and had photo credentials.

    As for aiming your camera, I'm aiming for the horse's chest and your odds are best when you hold the camera horizontally. It gives you more room for the horse to run into your picture. I shot vertically only if I knew the finish wasn't going to be close.

    Your pics are pretty good! What I need to do is put up some of the other General Quarters photos so you can see his unique knee action....