This was a banner year for Saratoga trips, as I made it out for 4 of the 7 racing weekends. I had a great time and was able to stay with my friends Mark and Melody in their camper at a nearby campground. Saved a fortune on hotel rooms. There was a lot of great racing, and although I didn’t win money by the last day of the meet, I did place a lot of bets, and only ended up down $40. Not bad for 8 days racing.
All of my photos are up in my flickr gallery, but I’ll post one photo from each week to keep you interested. Jim Dandy day started out nice, but then rain moved in, and by the 5th race it was pouring out. Hiked the camera back out to the car only to have it clear up a few races later for some really nice races later that day. We saw a lot of great horses this season, Fort Larned (eventual Breeders Cup Classic Winner), Alpha and Golden Ticket battling to finish in a dead heat in the $1 million dollar Travers Stakes. Mucho Macho Man and To Honor and Serve in the Woodward. A really great season that I will remember fondly for a long time.
This summer I made the trip across town to Victor, NY to photograph the Stuart Horse Trials on a hot Saturday morning. The event schedule was actually moved up because of the heat expected that day. Despite my camera acting up, I got a lot of neat photos and saw a lot of beautiful horses. As always, here are a few photographs in the blog, and there are more in my flickr gallery.
There are, of course, additional photos of many of the competitors in my flickr gallery of the 2012 Stuart Horse Trials.
Well, we had a great weekend at the Travers Stakes in Saratoga. We beat Hurricane Irene out of Albany, and even took some money from the track. I had a fantastic time, met some fantastic people, caught up with a few friends from days past, saw some awesome racing, and got some great photos. The first race we saw featured a jockey losing his whip, and using his goggles to whip the horse instead! Friday afternoon we were able to see Kentucky Derby contender To Honor And Serve in a claiming race of all places.
Mark made friends with one of the track photographers, Connie Bush, and we ran into her Friday afternoon. She was able to get Mark and I visitor’s passes Saturday morning, which was great, a once in a lifetime experience. It also meant that my day started around 4am as I got up, had a shower and headed to the track to photograph morning workouts. We were able to spend some time at the Oklahoma training track, and the backstretch for breakfast. It also meant for a heck of a long day. Mark and I ran into The Mig, retired Hall of Fame jockey Richard Migliore! He was a really nice guy and even posed for a few photographs. Mark maintains he bares a vague resemblance to myself, and I must say I think he is right!
We got to see great racing all day. I found a horse shoe which must have brought Tracy some luck as she did quite well on the day. We saw the return of Uncle Mo, almost a year to the day that we saw him win his maiden race over this same track. Unfortunately he lost by a nose in a photo finish, but it was an awesome race, and he did so good after a long layoff. He lost his back right shoe, and I was able to capture that with my camera from my spot on the rail. He’s an awesome horse.
It was a great summer at Saratoga, and all in all I was able to take in three race weekends. The Jim Dandy, The Whitney, and The Travers. There won’t be a summer like it for a while. View all my photos from this summer at Saratoga in my flickr gallery.
In the midst of my week in the Adirondacks, I ducked down to Saratoga for a great day of racing on Jim Dandy Day. I saw a lot of great horses, had a great time with Mark and Melody, and even got to see Stay Thirsty win the Jim Dandy on his way to the Travers Stakes 4 weeks later. Here’s a few photos on the day, more photos are available on my flickr gallery page.
I already can’t wait to get back to Saratoga. My full 2011 Saratoga gallery is available on my flickr page.
I made it down to Aqueduct for the Wood Memorial this year to hopefully see Uncle Mo triumph over the competition on his way to the Kentucky Derby. It was not meant to be, as Uncle Mo ended up finishing 3rd and it was later discovered he was too sick to compete in the derby. Despite the disappointment, it was still a fun day with mark and his brothers. We saw some good races, and some beverages were consumed. Here’s some pictures from the day, all of my Aqueduct photos are in one flickr gallery.
After the Air Show in Geneseo I decided to spend the next Saturday morning at the Stuart Horse Trials in Victor. The 4 day event featured the dressage, cross country, and stadium jumping events. I know next to nothing about horse trials, but I knew I wanted to see the cross country portion of it. It was pretty fun. I arrived during a break, so I got to walk the course a little and decide where to shoot from. Learned a little about the event from some course volunteers too. I stayed from the morning into the early afternoon and got a lot of neat shots. The course was wide open, and you can walk anywhere you want, just stay out of the way of the horses. There are a lot of photos I took in my flickr gallery, and a few here too.