Week 35 More about the races

Now that I’ve fallen really far behind I will challenge you (and myself) to remember where we left off. I went to the races to get a behind the scenes look, with a local photo group. I shot five rolls, two of which I covered last time for Week 34. The third roll was Fujicolor 400 and for whatever reason (lighting, operator error) I didn’t like any of the shots from that roll, really. However the last two rolls I was very happy with. This post will cover that fourth roll. After we went on our tour of the stables and saw the horse wash and the “schooling” process we took a break for lunch. After lunch, about an hour before 2 PM post time, our PR tour guide appeared to take us down to the paddock. This is the area where the horses come in from the stables and are walked around, then led into small stalls where they are saddled. After that the jockeys mount and they head out to the track.

Usually the only people allowed in the center of the paddock area are people affiliated with the horsey set – the owners, trainers (they have flunkies for the nasty business of actually handling the horses) and all the hangers on. Of which there are many. But as a part of our special tour we also were allowed into this area before the first race. I wish I had taken more photos of all the selfie-ing going on, but I was more interested in the close up view of the horses. They are beautiful animals. All of this was shot on Fujichrome 100 and I’m really happy with the look of this film. Good thing I purchased 10 rolls.

The riders wearing red vests are called “outriders”. There are three at every race. They sit in a special stall at the paddock and then go out onto the track with the horses. Their job is to catch any horse that bolts and runs away. This can happen at any time during the race preparation process since these horses are so highly strung.

Here are a couple of shots of those not lucky enough to be in the “cool kids” club. Race followers stand around the paddock to assess the horseflesh before each race. This art is lost on me.

Here are a few views of the horses going into the stalls. Some are very compliant and some don’t really like the idea much.

When all the horses are saddled, the jockeys come out from their dressing room area. These guys are all tiny – few are even 5 feet. But they have all the swagger of a 6 foot tall supermodel. It was really fun to watch them.

Next post, I will share my final roll from this really fun outing.

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