Ride On Curlin

Oct 17, 2015: Ride On Curlin at Churchill Downs.

Oct 17, 2015: Ride On Curlin at Churchill Downs.

I took a brief trip to Kentucky in early October 2015, so of course I had to stop by Churchill Downs. Ride On Curlin is always interested in what’s going on around the barn until–yaaaawn–you start to bore him.

Oct 17, 2015: Ride On Curlin at Churchill Downs.

Oct 17, 2015: Ride On Curlin at Churchill Downs.

Oct 17, 2015: Ride On Curlin at Churchill Downs.

Oct 17, 2015: Ride On Curlin at Churchill Downs.

Samraat on the Comeback

May 1, 2014: Samraat galloping in preparation for the Kentucky Derby last year.

May 1, 2014: Samraat galloping in preparation for the Kentucky Derby last year.

Samraat, 5th in the Kentucky Derby and 6th in the Belmont in 2014, is back on the work tab after about one year off. He suffered a stress fracture last year in the Belmont, so it looks like they’ve taken their time with him and brought him back slowly. He’s been galloping for awhile, and posted his second workout this morning at Aqueduct.

I watched him quite a bit last year while he was at Churchill Downs, and he seemed like a really calm, easy-going colt. I wish him and his connections all the best, so here’s hoping for a successful comeback for this handsome guy!

Apr 30, 2014: Samraat waiting for his bath after a gallop at Churchill Downs.

Apr 30, 2014: Samraat waiting for his bath after a gallop at Churchill Downs.

Proud Pioneer

Apr 29, 2015: Pioneerof the Nile tears around his paddock at WinStar Farm in Versailles, KY.

Apr 29, 2015: Pioneerof the Nile tears around his paddock at WinStar Farm in Versailles, KY.

Pioneerof the Nile–2nd in the 2009 Kentucky Derby to Mine That Bird–would be proud to know that his son, American Pharoah, got the win two weeks ago in the 2015 Kentucky Derby. Hopefully Pharoah will also have better luck in the Preakness than his papa, who finished 11th behind Rachel Alexandra in the ’09 edition.

Apr 29, 2015: American Pharoah prepping for the Derby.

Apr 29, 2015: American Pharoah prepping for the Derby.

May 2, 2015: The Kentucky Derby field coming off the Clubhouse turn onto the backstretch, with American Pharoah widest of all.

May 2, 2015: The Kentucky Derby field coming off the Clubhouse turn onto the backstretch, with American Pharoah widest of all.

May 2, 2015: American Pharoah peeks out of Baffert's barn while walking the shed row after his win in the Kentucky Derby.

May 2, 2015: American Pharoah peeks out of Baffert’s barn while walking the shed row after his win in the Kentucky Derby.

May 2, 2015: American Pharoah gets some love after the Derby.

May 2, 2015: American Pharoah gets some love after the Derby.

Untapable at Dawn

Untapable was out for an early gallop while I was at Churchill Downs one morning during Derby week. The lighting for photos isn’t the best before the sun comes up, but she shines through anyway!

Apr 30, 2015: Untapable checks out the Derby week crowd at dawn.

Apr 30, 2015: Untapable checks out the Derby week crowd at dawn.

Apr 30, 2015: Untapable gallops at Churchill Downs.

Apr 30, 2015: Untapable gallops at Churchill Downs.

Kelly’s Landing

Once American Pharoah made it back to Baffert’s barn after the Derby, I stopped by to watch him get his legs hosed off and walk the shed row. As they were finishing up with him, I heard a whinny behind me. Who was it? Kelly’s Landing! His stall is directly in front of the area where Baffert usually bathes his horses, which is also where the media has been camped out all week.

A few years ago, the cameras would have been focused on Kelly’s Landing. This gelding is now Eddie Kenneally’s stable pony, but he was a really good sprinter in his day. He won several graded stakes, including the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen in 2007, and earned over $1.8 million during his career.

May 2, 2015: Kelly's Landing watches American Pharoah and the crowd in front of his barn after the Kentucky Derby.

May 2, 2015: Kelly’s Landing watches American Pharoah and the crowd in front of his barn after the Kentucky Derby.

Fantastic Faces

Apr 29, 2015: Tapit Wicked at Churchill Downs.

Apr 29, 2015: Tapit Wicked at Churchill Downs.

I have an affinity for horses with interesting markings, and this guy is one of my favorites. Tapit Wicked‘s blaze looks a bit like a witch and his dam’s name is Wicked Deed, so he also has a great name to go with that fantastic face.

Apr 29, 2015: Tapit Wicked at Churchill Downs.

Apr 29, 2015: Tapit Wicked at Churchill Downs.

Musical Romance

Musical Romance at Churchill Downs

May 3, 2012: Musical Romance at Churchill Downs.

As I was looking through some older files, I found a series of Musical Romance from several years ago. This photo was taken at Churchill Downs in May 2012 as she was schooling in the paddock a few days before her run in the Humana Distaff, where she was 2nd to Groupie Doll. She was always on her toes and such a lovely mare.

If you look closely, you can see the Twin Spires reflected in her eye. I think that’s fitting, considering her biggest career win was in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs in 2011 against the likes of Switch and Turbulent Descent.

The Closest…

…I’ve ever been to $100,000 in cash!

Kentucky Derby Dream Bet

May 4, 2012: Churchill Downs offered a promotion that gave one person the chance to bet $100,000 to win on one horse in the Kentucky Derby. This guy carried around the case full of cash until the winner was ready to place his bet!