Tag Archives: Lee Gates

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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Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pictures, Polls, Racetrack Visits

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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Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pictures

Uno Machine draws clear in Michigan Paint Horse Futurity

Uno Machine wins the 2010 Michigan Paint Horse Futurity
Uno Machine (4) takes command approaching the wire to win the Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Uno Machine’s late kick separated her from the field and the rest of Michigan’s juvenile Paint division on Sunday, en route to a convincing score in the $5,000 Michigan Paint Horse Futurity at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

The two-year-old Dos Poruno filly veered out slightly coming out of the starting  gate, but her course was quickly corrected. She trailed an inside-running Petergunrabbit by a head going into the main stretch, but began to distance herself from her rivals as the wire approached. Under the intermittent right hand whip of jockey Lee Gates, Uno Machine took advantage of a clear path to the finish to win the Michigan Paint Horse Futurity by a length and a half. Shake It Twice joined Uno Machine on her rally and chased the leader to a runner-up finish, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Awesome Voodo Magic.

Uno Machine won the 350-yard race in :18.353 over a fast track. She left the gate as the post time favorite at odds of 1.20-to-0ne.

Homebred in Michigan by Dave and Shirley Gates, Uno Machine is also trained by Dave Gates. The Michigan Paint Horse Futurity was Uno Machine’s second win from as many starts and was the filly’s first stakes victory. She has amassed career earnings of $3,800.

For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.

4 – Uno Machine (Lee Gates) 4.40 / 2.80 / 2.20
3 – Shake It Twice (Jose Beltran) 5.40 / 2.60
5 – Awesome Voodo Magic (Juan Delgado) 2.40

350 yards
:18.353 seconds

Uno Machine - Lee Gates
Your winner, Uno Machine; Lee Gates, up.

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Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Stakes Races

2009 TBA Photo Contest

As some of you may already know, I entered some photos in this year’s Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance Photo Contest.

First round voting began this morning and continues on through Sunday, Dec. 20. I’m up against some incredibly stiff, Eclipse-quality competition. Like March Madness for the Mid-American Conference school from which I just graduated, just getting out of the first round would be a fantastic coup. To accomplish this goal, I’m going to need your help.

Here are the three photos I submitted for the contest…

Juan Delgado tucks down to urge Christmas From Mom to the wire at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Im A Corona and Mike Holmes (#2) battle Luckys Rambler and Rafael Fernandez (#1) in the stretch at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Lee Gates leads Toagule around the paddock before a race at Mount Pleasant Meadows.

Once I get a little time to sort through all the photos I have taken this year, I will hold my own Photo of the Year poll like I did last year (you know, one I’m guaranteed to win). Until then, you can vote in the TBA contest by clicking here.

I’d appreciate your vote. Let’s strike a blow for Michigan and the small tracks of the world!

I’m Joe Nevills and I approve this message.

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Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pictures