American Pharoah + The Belmont Stakes = The Triple Crown

By | June 6, 2015

I have loved horses my whole life. When I was six or seven, I remember I had a framed lithograph drawing of Man ‘O War on my bedroom wall. In elementary school, I took riding lessons every week for five years in hopes that one day I might own a horse.  At home in Evansiville, Indiana, I watched the “daily double” horse races televised every day from Ellis Race Track, across the river in Henderson, KY. I have tuned in to every Kentucky Derby race on the first Saturday in May and always hoped that the horse who won the first legs of the Triple Crown would bring it home at the Belmont.

So I find myself temporarily living in New York City while working on the Hillary for America campaign (history making in it’s own right!) and my longtime friend, amazing and talented photographer, Bill Frakes (who was on assignment for Sports Illustrated) was able to snag a credential for me for the Belmont Stakes. I had the day off from any campaign events so thought, why not? I had a good feeling about American Pharoah and so trudged my way out to Belmont via subway, taxi and train.

I had absolutely no experience shooting horse races accept for the Preakness in 1980-something so pretty much was a “deer in the headlights” as I made my way around the 90,000+ crowd at Belmont.

Thanks to Mark Suban and Andy Dunaway from Nikon for setting me up with a 400mm lens  and thanks to Bill for giving me pointers on where to position myself for the race.

American Pharoah made history today as he won the third leg of the Triple Crown, the last horse to win all three races was Affirmed back in 1978. I remember watching that race on television and crying when he won the Belmont.

Today, I captured history through my lens – I think I got some pretty nice images for really not knowing what the heck I was doing out there. It was so amazing to be there in person,  but it wasn’t until I got home late tonight and saw the race online, watched the Belmont Stakes from start to finish that I realized what American Pharoah did today……..and once again, I cried. What a day it was today!

Check out my photos from the Belmont Stakes………


American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza enter the race track at Belmont.


American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza enter the race track at Belmont.


American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza (#5) as the start of the Belmont Stakes.



American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza crossing the finish line to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

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With friend and former University of Kansas school mate, Bill Frakes.

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