Tag Archives: Jose Beltran

Photo of the Year: 2010

This photo of Zenyatta and super-skilled photographer Jamie Newell is probably the photo of the year, but for the sake of competition, it gets a free pass.

As it was mentioned in previous discussions, 2010 was a big year.

I visited a lot of places, I took a lot of pictures, I’ve seen a million faces and I rocked ’em all.

Okay, perhaps that last line is a wee bit exaggerated, but two and a quarter years of operation on this site is too long to go without a Bon Jovi reference.

The first two parts of the statement, however, are completely true. The last year afforded me the opportunity to visit racing venues and big events around the country, and I have tried my best to bring my readers along for the ride with my tales and photos.

That brings us to the annual display of my favorite memories from those travels: The 3rd Annual Michigan-Bred Claimer Photo of the Year poll.

Truth be told, my best photo is all but certainly the one shown above of super-skilled photographer Jamie Newell and Zenyatta the morning after the Breeders’ Cup Classic, titled “Consolation”. That projection is supported by the photo’s third-place showing in the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance photo contest. If I have not said it before, allow me to take this opportunity to thank everyone kind enough to throw a vote my way. We’ll get ’em next year.

For the sake of competition, we’ll consider that one the winner by default and conduct the poll as usual to determine a reserve champion. Unlike the TBA contest, this is one vote I can’t lose.

All of the photos included in this poll were shot with a Kodak EasyShare Z980.

Thank you all for reading, commenting, voting and otherwise being a part of what was a huge 2010. I look forward to providing a front row seat to my adventures in 2011 and beyond.

Behind the jump are the 20 photos I have handpicked as my favorites of 2010. Have a look, then vote for your favorite in the poll on the left side of the page. Comments are always welcome, too.

And now, without further ado…

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Rock the vote

The end of the year brings with it the annual Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance photo contest and once again, I have thrown my hat into the ring.

Participants are allowed to enter two photos. My selections reach across the spectrum of the racing world, from the aftermath of the Breeders’ Cup Classic to the preparations for a speed index race at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Let’s have a look at the pair I sent out…

"Consolation" - Zenyatta nuzzles against Jamie Newell the morning after the Breeders' Cup Classic.

This one is my “A” entry – The ultimate example of everything coming together at the best possible time. With your help, I think this one could make some serious noise in the competition.

"A Leg Up" - Jose Beltran gets some help aboard HQH Dashing Zorro from fellow jockey Lee Gates.

This one may not be the most technically sound photo, but I defy you to find another shot in this contest that showcases the quirks and tight-knittedness of small track racing better than this. There are plenty of shots from Churchill Downs and the New York circuit, but this is something photographers won’t see at either of those scenes.

To vote, visit the TBA Photo Contest page, scroll down to the bottom and vote for up to ten choices. The top ten vote-getters on Dec. 25 are entered in the final round, which runs through Dec. 31. If you like a photo, be sure to check back next week in case it needs your vote again.

I am not going to twist anybody’s arm here, but if readers appreciate tender moments with the all-time greats or want to strike a blow for small-track racing, I would appreciate their votes.

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Also, don’t forget to cast your vote for Michigan’s Thoroughbred of the Decade. The poll will remain up until roughly Jan.1.

Four-time Sire Stakes winner Meadow Vespers has ridden a wave of support to earn 48.33% of the vote. Multiple graded stakes winner Tenpins is in second with a 25% share, and Grade 1 winner Cashier’s Dream sits in third with 6.67% of the pie.

If you want to lock those results down or do something to change them, just head over to the poll on the left side of the page and pick the horse you feel is the most deserving of the title. For more information on the ten finalists, the original post can be read here.

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Mount Pleasant Meadows in photos

The Mount Pleasant Meadows 2010 meet is off and running; as is Thoroughbred Sweet at Best, ridden by Nate Alcala.

The first two weeks of Mount Pleasant Meadows’ 2010 meet are in the books.

I’ve been telling a lot of long-winded stories lately, so for the beginning of Mount Pleasant’s season, I’m going to let the photos do most of the talking. Between stakes races and general goings-on, more than enough will be written about the central Michigan track in due time.

For those interested in a written description of the track, my review of last year’s opening day can be found here. A few names and faces may have shuffled since last year, but the general feel of the place remains the same.

Before we commence with the photos, this seems as good a time as any to once again plug the Mount Pleasant Meadows Facebook page, to which I have been contributing. Readers interested in learning more about the track are encouraged to become “fans” by visiting the page and clicking on the appropriate button.

Now, without further ado, behind the jump are photos from the last two week’s worth of races at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Enjoy!

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