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My first Derby was 2006, when Barbaro won. I had followed a horse named Brother Derek since he had started his career as a 2 year old. Spent countless mornings at the barn with him and the connections. I'll never forget walking through the paddock with them as "My Old Kentucky Home Played."I got a little choked up. It was a dream to just be there. Now the dream is to make beautiful images, and to try new things. This year I had to improvise as I did not get my usual spot for remotes. Why have the same shot as 15 guys, when you can have the only shot? I tried something a little different, and put a 17-35mm at 17, on the first turn looking back up at the grandstands, filled with 160,000 people.

To start the trip I met the two coolest guys on the flight out to Louisville. It really started the trip off on a great note, and just built from there. I finally got to meet two awesome photographers, Jamey Price (www.jameypricephoto.com) and Ryan Lasek (www.ryanlasek.com). When the infield got evacuated, the three of us grabbed our short glass( none of us shot under a 400mm, because we are ballers like that) and got soaked photographing the people fleeing for cover from the impending storm. I havent had that much fun shooting in a really long time. It seemed like the farthest thing from work.

These are my images, Enjoy.

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Mint Juleps

Part of my derby tradition is getting a mint julep first thing Derby morning.

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Hats on Hats

Derby Hats

  • May 5th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II
  • 400mm / f/5 / 1/800 sec
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Fans

  • May 6th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 400mm / f/5.6 / 1/1600 sec
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Bodemeister emerges from the grandstand shadow

Bodemeister leads the derby field by the grandstand for the first time in the Kentucky Derby.

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Head on

I'll Have Another takes the Derby

Jubilation

Mario Guitierez has given me too really nice inside celebration shots this year. This one I really like because I have never shot the derby on the inside, and I did it handholding a 400mm 2.8 and sitting on the outside turf rail.

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The Favorite

Louisville, KY- May 05: Union Rags with Julien Leparoux races inthe Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on 05/04/12. (Alex Evers/ Eclipse Sportswire)

  • May 5th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark II
  • 17mm / f/5.6 / 1/2500 sec
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Ill Have Another gets position

Eventuall winner, I'll Have Another and Take Charge Indy race through the kickback into the first turn.

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Infield

Race goer in the infield.

  • May 6th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 73mm / f/7.1 / 1/3200 sec
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Shadows

Shadows

  • May 6th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 126mm / f/5.6 / 1/1600 sec

First Turn

Marketing Mix leads the field.

Bejarano Focused

Louisville, KY- May 04: Jockey, Rafael Bejarano returns to the winners circle after guiding Silver Max to victory in the American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on 05/04/12. (Alex Evers/ Eclipse Sportswire)

  • May 5th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 400mm / f/2.8 / 1/800 sec
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Number 1

Successful Dan with Julien Leparoux wins the Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs in Louisville , Kentucky on May 4, 2012.

  • May 5th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 400mm / f/3.5 / 1/3200 sec

Castellano

Louisville, KY- May 04: Jockey, Javier Castellano at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on 05/04/12. (Alex Evers/ Eclipse Sportswire)

  • May 5th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 400mm / f/3.2 / 1/8000 sec

Believe You Can

Believe You Can and Rosie Napravnik win the Kentucky Oaks. She is the first female rider to win the Oaks.

Shoes

Louisville, KY- May 04: Race fans exit the infield in preparation for a major storm front that approached Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on 05/04/12. (Alex Evers/ Eclipse Sportswire)

  • May 5th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 70mm / f/7.1 / 1/40 sec

Animal House

Young Belushi

Crowds take shelter from the storm

Louisville, KY- May 04: Race fans crowd for shelter as they exit the infield in preparation for a major storm front that approached Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on 05/04/12. (Alex Evers/ Eclipse Sportswire)

  • May 4th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II
  • 17mm / f/4 / 1/320 sec

Gomez covered in mud after the Oaks

Louisville, KY- May 04: Jockey, Garrett Gomez is covered in mud after the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on 05/04/12. (Alex Evers/ Eclipse Sportswire)

  • May 5th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 400mm / f/2.8 / 1/1250 sec

Rosie Napravnik talks about her trip

Louisville, KY- May 04: Jockey, Rosie Napravnik is interviewed after winning the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on 05/04/12. (Alex Evers/ Eclipse Sportswire)

  • May 5th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 400mm / f/2.8 / 1/250 sec

Kentucky Oaks

Louisville, KY- May 04: Eventual winner, Believe You Can with Rosie Napravnik up (center, orange and green) leads the field for the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on 05/04/12. (Alex Evers/ Eclipse Sportswire)

  • May 5th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 400mm / f/3.5 / 1/2500 sec

Miss America

Miss America, Yum... (sorry for the terrible pun)

  • May 5th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II
  • 163mm / f/5 / 1/400 sec

Style

Try less hard to act like you aren't posing for the camera.

  • May 6th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 200mm / f/5.6 / 1/2500 sec

Thumbs up

Louisville, KY- May 05: Shackleford with Jesus Castanonwins the Churchill Downs Handicap at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on 05/04/12. (Alex Evers/ Eclipse Sportswire)

  • May 6th, 2012
  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • 400mm / f/3.2 / 1/2500 sec
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Tears of Joy

Mario Gutierez wipes tears from his eyes as he comes back after winning the Derby.

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Setting up

Setting up the remote that shot the image of Bodemeister leading the field from that upward perspective.

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keri
Keri Beal  over 5 years ago

Beautiful shots telling a great story.
I've never shot at the races (i'm an enthusiastic amateur) before but I do love shooting horses so I must give this a try someday.

Three day eventing (particularly the cross country) is my favourite shooting at the minute, but with the cancellation of Badminton i have to find another event to shoot at and until now i'd never considered the races.