Photo of the Year: 2009

Last year's winning photo: Oscar Delgado talks things over with the stewards following a race at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

As my readers may or may not have noticed, I did not fare so well in the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance photo contest.

My goal was to get one of my three photos out of the first round, but it wasn’t to be. That said, thank you very much to the seven or eight of you who cast your votes for my shots.

That brings us to the annual stroking of my ego that is my own “Photo of the Year” contest. It’s pretty hard for me to lose this one.

Just about every photo you see on this site was taken with yours truly at the helm (except for the photo of myself on the “about” page, where I set the ten-second timer and ran really fast). Over the last year, I have taken thousands of photos at tracks across the Midwest and filled a towering stack of photo albums with scenes from my travels.

This year brought an upgrade to my equipment, when I finally retired my tiny point-and-shoot and graduated to a Kodak EasyShare Z980. All of a sudden, I had 24x zoom and could fire off a ludicrous number of shots in only a few seconds. The quality and quantity of my photos skyrocketed, and I’d like to think it improved the quality of this blog dramatically. If anything else, it made me feel more professional.

Behind the jump are some of my favorite shots I’ve taken from the last year. Hopefully you will enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed shooting them.

To vote for your favorite, simply consult the poll on the sidebar to the right. I haven’t set any kind of deadline at the moment, but there will be fair warning when I get ready to close the poll.

And now without further ado…

(Photos listed in chronological order)

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#1 – Paddock Inspection
A Beulah Park patron looks over Island Chancellor as he and jockey Sergio Figueroa head out to the track.
Date: March 7, 2009

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#2 – Waiting
Leonard Frazzitta, Jr. waits for his mount in the paddock at Pinnacle Race Course.
Date: June 5, 2009

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#3 – Acting Up
Buffalo Bill Cole gives Oscar Delgado and the outrider some grief in the post parade at Mount Pleasant Meadows.
Date: June 28, 2009

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#4 – Load ‘Em Up
JJ Delgado prepares to load into the starting gate aboard Dixie Pipe for a race at Pinnacle Race Course.
Date: July 3, 2009

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#5 – Lighting up the Board
Send Cash and jockey Federico Mata return to unsaddle after an effort at Pinnacle Race Course.
Date: July 3, 2009

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#6 – Tucked Down
Juan Delgado tucks down to urge Christmas From Mom to the wire at Mount Pleasant Meadows.
Date: July 5, 2009

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#7 – Admiration
Dual classic winner Funny Cide receives attention from fans in the Ellis Park paddock during “Funny Cide Day” at the Henderson, Ky. racetrack.
Date: July 11, 2009

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#8 – Pea Patch Parade
Revival Ridge and rider Fabio Arguello, Jr go through the post parade under the shadow of the Ellis Park starting gate.
Date: July 11, 2009

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#9 – Caged Animal
Del Mar Storm and rider Azael De Leon get situated in the starting gate before a race at River Downs.
Date: July 16

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#10 – Stumbled Start
Lee Gates tries to hang on as his mount, Orieal (2), takes a nose dive coming out of the gates at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Gates would stay aboard Orieal and finish the race.
Date: July 19, 2009

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#11 – Shoot to the Lead
Julie Veltman puts Waltz Across Texas on the early lead in an Arabian race at Mount Pleasant Meadows.
Date: July 19, 2009

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#12 – Victory in the Rain
Nate Alcala celebrates a win aboard Bush Hog on a rainy day at Mount Pleasant Meadows.
Date: July 19, 2009

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#13 – Blanket Finish
A field of Thoroughbreds barrels five-wide to the finish in a two-furlong contest at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Busheler (5) would get up in the final jump to win by a neck.
Date: August 2, 2009

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#14 – Follow the Leader
Lee Gates leads his mount, Toagule, around the paddock prior to a race at Mount Pleasant Meadows.
Date: September 6, 2009

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#15 – Stretch Duel
Im A Corona (2) and Mike Holmes battle Luckys Rambler (1) and Rafael Fernandez to the finish line at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Im A Corona would emerge victorious.
Date: September 27, 2009

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#16 – Natural Ledge
The shrubbery surrounding the saddling area at Keeneland Race Course is a convenient place to set one’s program while looking over the horses.
Date: October 11, 2009

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#17 – Call to Post
Keeneland Race Course horn blower Bucky Sallee calls the horses to the track for the post parade.
Date: October 11, 2009

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#18 – Into the Tunnel
Surely Bird is led out to the track at Keeneland Race Course with Erin Wilkinson aboard.
Date: October 11, 2009

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#19 – Grabbing the Spotlight
Backtalk gets the camera’s attention in the walking ring prior to the Dixiana Breeders Futurity at Keeneland Race Course.
Date: October 11, 2009

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#20 – Masked Man
Rodney Prescott drives to the wire aboard Teetee’s Tapit at Turfway Park.
Date: December 20, 2009

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15 Comments

Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pictures, Pinnacle Race Course, Polls

15 responses to “Photo of the Year: 2009

  1. Pingback: Jessica Chapel / Railbird v2 - Racing ’09, ’00s in Review: The List of Lists

  2. old timer

    some nice shots there, have to go with “Into the tunnel”. Very nice feel of a day at the races with the ivy covered wall and the sunlight and shadows on the ground. All were pretty cool in one way or another.

  3. mibredclaimer

    Thank you, sir. Keeneland always seems to bring out my artistic side. Judging by all the other people with cameras, easels, sketchpads, etc. wandering around the grounds, it has that effect on a lot of people.

  4. a horse of a different color

    I love #2 Waiting. It reflects such a pensive mood and makes you really wonder what goes through a jockey’s mind right before a race.

  5. Elizabeth

    I love #14 Follow The Leader. That’s such a nice moment between jockey & horse.

  6. mibredclaimer

    Thanks, you two!

    A horse of a different color,
    Agreed. In retrospect, the one thing that could have made this cooler would be if it were a night setting and the light above his head were on. That would have looked pretty dramatic. Then again, I took that one with my old camera, which had a tendency to give up when faced with adversity – including nighttime scenes, so I suppose it turned out for the best. Glad you like it!

    Elizabeth,
    That’s one of the great things about Mount Pleasant Meadows. You see things you’ll never see at other tracks. Places like Keeneland are great, but when is the last time you saw Kent Desormeaux walk his own mount around in the paddock?

  7. Regina Brock

    I absolutely love photo # 9. The horse Del Mar Storm waits patiently in the gate even though he’s a caged animal. You cant get most horses to be so calm while being enclosed. That tells me that the horse is really comfortable with the jockey Azael De Leon. De Leon is known for calming a horse before a race. Hes a calm and patient rider and he knows how to relax a horse. I also like this picture cause the horse has his toungue out to the side with his ears purked up. He’s ready to win the race.

  8. Christina Cheramie

    I like photo # 9. Love the horse and the rider. GO De Leon!!!!!!

  9. Darlene Brock

    I like photo #9. Awesome picture with jockey Azael De Leon at one of the most prettiest race tracks in the country.

  10. Charles Brock

    Love photo # 9. Love the title of the pic. The title fits the jockey real well because he rides like an animal.

  11. Dennis Brock

    How funny is pic number nine. Its like Del Mar storm knows hes getting his picture taken so he sticks his tongue out. Na na na na boo boo! And jockey Azael De Leon rocks.

  12. Mary Overman

    I vote for #12. The horse is as happy with his win as the jockey! Nice shot, for sure!! (P.S. Did not know Mt. Pleasant Meadows raced thoroughbreds in 2009 …)

  13. mibredclaimer

    Thank you very much!

    Mount Pleasant Meadows did indeed run a small, but dedicated platoon of Thoroughbreds in 2009. In fact, the races often filled better than the Quarter Horse contests.

  14. erin wilkinson

    I love # 18…. naturally…mibred, can u email me?

  15. I like #14. It gave me a laugh ;-)

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