Its good to be home. After a month of traveling for assignments to SXSW and then centra California I have finally returned home. SXSW was an amazing experience. I was able to photograph a successful Guinness World Record as well as the full scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope. I will post the images once they are cleared for release. Being gone, I wasn’t able to photograph any horse racing. I was thrilled to shoot the Santa Anita Derby, the last west coast prep race for the Kentucky Derby.
This years edition featured a match up between the heavily favored Flashback, and Goldencents trained by last years derby winning conditioner Doug O’Neill. He is also partially owned by Louisville’s head coach Rick Pitino, who couldn’t attend as his team later won the NCCA Tournament. As billed the two favorites hooked up at the head of the stretch and battled to the wire with Goldencents prevailing. The winners circle celebration spilled onto the track. It seemed more like an upset where the fans storm the court than a $750,000 stakes race. Thats whats great about the sport. In unleashes those moments of pure joy and emotion. I was able to capture a shot of Doug hugging his son after the race, as well as assistant Leandro Mora celebrating with Kevin Krigger. The racing shots are fun, but I always try to capture the moments behind the scenes. The ones that you dont see on tv.
These are the images, I hope you enjoy.
Champion 2yo Filly Beholder bounds home victorious in the Santa Anita Oaks.
The Favorite flashback races by the grandstand for the first time. He would run on to finish second.
Assistant trainer Leandro Mora and Kevin Krigger celebrate a victory in the Santa Anita Derby.
The owners of Goldencents celebrate after winning the Santa Anita Derby.
Kevin Krigger sustains a great early position aboard Goldencents on their way to Grade 1 success.
Goldencents and Kevin Krigger finish ahead of the favorite Flashback.
I really like this one. Its cropped in the camera, I couldnt shoot it any tighter.
I really love the 85mm shot relatively open at the finish of these races. It really isolates the winner. The only issue shooting that wide open is you really limit your frame selection as many times you only get 1-2 frames that are usably sharp.
Although its not the Kentcuky Derby, women still dawn hats at the track
Jimmy Creed and Garrett Gomez enter the winners circle.
Jockey Kevin Krigger points to the winning connections
This is kind of a weird one shot through the fence as I was walking to the bunker to edit images. I like the framing.
Trainer Doug O’Neill hugs his son on the track after winning back to back Santa Anita Derby. Doug is a great guy. He and I spoke at Santa Anita’s Photo Day and he had amazing stories about his children.
Vintage Fashion at the Santa Anita Derby.
A crowded Santa Anita Derby winners circle.
Miss Racing Queen, Tatiana Schoeppler smiles as she presents a voucher to the hat contest winner.
Tyler Baze returns dirty and defeated after the Santa Anita Derby.
I always like the images of hockey players spitting water onto the ice. Corey Nakatani helps me make one of my own at the races.
Lastly a couple fun ones.
So meta, me photo-photo bombing the winners circle with Richard Mandella and Jimmy Creed
My friend called this the Wall-E set up. The head was bound up and I couldn’t unscrew it so i just clamped it to the riser on the plate. Anything to get the shot. This was used for the fisheye of the Santa Anita Derby.