Posts tagged “Del Mar

If Only…

If Only I had eaten my Wheaties this morning….

Thoughts beginning with these words are pregnant with our deepest feelings. “If only I had told her (him) of my love, life would be so much different”, “If only I had enough money, I could be free to enjoy life” or in the case of the Jockey who came in second at a horse race at Del Mar in California, “If only I had made my move in the third turn!” Clearly, the look in his eyes is brimming with resentments and if onlys! If onlys can be directed to the past, present and the future – we are somehow hoping outside events will save us or make us different or better.

However, we can change our programming, catch ourselves and chose to think something completely different! The rational mind, after all, is a servant to our programming, or as we have trained it in the past. There is nothing to prevent us from changing the software algorithms! Realize that the only power past events hold over us is what we give them. Just as you have created your perceptions of the past, the creative power within you can create a joy-filled today! Here is a thought for today:

“This is the beginning of a new day given to me to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important as I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow arrives, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place what I traded for it. I want what I traded to be gain and not loss, good and not evil, success, not failure…in order that I shall not forget the price I paid for it.”

Today is Friday, May 11, 2012. It is the only Friday, May 11, 2012 that you will ever have…make it a great one!

The Real Stars of the Race

How'd you do in The Fifth?

Ofcourse  the true stars of the race are these beautiful horses. San Diego County is the home to many Breeders and Trainers and horse lovers! In our small community just outside if San Diego, it is not uncommon to see riders and horses at intersections waiting to cross or trotting along the hundreds of mile of Horse Trails in the area. This is concludes the Horse Racing Series – one of our most enjoyable and challenging Projects! Now a bit more about the track!

Into the new century the track continued to post records in handle and attendance and offered some of the greatest thoroughbred racing in America. Each year, the track opens their 43-day summer racing season in mid-July to crowds upwards of 40,000 people.The first race of the meet on opening day starts at 2 pm when track announcer Trevor Denman begins each racing season with his trademark call: “And there’s the roar from the Del Mar crowd as the 2011 Del Mar meet is underway.”

Better Luck Next Time

Continuing the series of coverage of Horse Racing from Del Mar, California, these are some of the expressions of the Jockeys who unfortunately, did not end up in The Winners Circle. You might recall this gentleman from a previous post. These athletes are often called to race several times during the day and must reflect upon the race just run, refocus on the task ahead, visualize their strategy and then execute.

Jockeys must have a light body in order to ride at the weights which are assigned to their mounts. There is no limit on how tall a jockey can be; however, due to weight considerations, most are under five feet, six inches tall. There are horse carrying weight limits, which set by the racing authorities. The Kentucky Derby, for example, has a weight limit of 126 pounds including the jockey’s equipment. The average weight for a jockey is around 115 pounds. Despite their light weight, they must be able to control a horse that is moving at 40 mph and weighs 1,200 pounds.

The colours worn by jockeys in races are the registered “colours” of the owner or trainer who employs them. The practice of horsemen wearing colours probably stems from medieval times when jousts were held between knights. But the origins of racing colours of multifarious patterns that are seen today may have been influenced by racing held in Italian city communities since medieval times. Such traditional events are still held on town streets and are remarkable for furious riding and the colourful spectacle they offer.

Horse racing is a sport where jockeys may incur permanent, debilitating, and even life-threatening injuries. Chief among them include concussion, bone fractures, arthritis, trampling, and paralysis. Jockey insurance premiums remain among the highest of all professional sports.

Canada’s Danica Patrick

From our superb vantage point close the Winner’s Circle at the track at Del Mar, California, we were able to capture yet another Win from this astounding Jockey – she kicked butt!  The boys seemed annoyed. We later discovered who Chantal was and were thrilled!

Chantal Sutherland is a Canadian model, TV Personality and Jockey in  North American Thoroughbred horse racing. She is referred as the Danica Patrick of  horse racing! Sutherland grew up in the  Toronto, Ontario area where her father owns a horse farm. As a young girl she played competitive Field Hockey and was invited to try out for Canada’s junior World Cup team. She rode horses in Equestrian events but after graduating from York University with a degree in communications and psychology, decided to explore the opportunity to ride Thoroughbreds.

On October 9, 2000 at Woodbine racetrack in Toronto, Sutherland won her first career race. The following year she got her big break when she was voted the sovereign Award as Canada’s top apprentice jockey, repeating in 2002 when she was one of Canada’s highest-paid female athletes, earning $5.7 million in purses in eight months. Many great years of racing followed.

From December 2007 to April 2008, Sutherland competed at Santa Anita Park in California, where she impressed racing fans and insiders. Retired US Racing Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens said: “She has become the queen of the longshots. She has won several photos against top jockeys, which shows she is a strong finisher.” Allen Gutterman, Santa Anita racetrack’s head of marketing, said Sutherland “could become the best female jockey since Julie Krone.”

Chantal Sutherland’s good looks have garnered much publicity. She has been featured in Sports Illustrated and had a four-page spread in  Vogue magazine. As well, she was chosen one of  People magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful People.”

The Homestretch

Win, Place or Show?

This was shot from just outside The Winner’s Circle at the track in Del Mar, California. The vantage point was perfect to capture the thundering horses as they raced to the finish. Our use of a 70-200mm telephoto with a 2x Teleconverter allowed for some amazing close action shots. It also makes focus and shutter release tricky as these horses move fast when they are up close like this beauty! Now a bit about the track.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Del Mar continued to offer high quality racing and continued to be one of the premier racetracks in the country. The track attempted to run a fall meet in the 1960s but later canceled it after getting lackluster results. Change marked the 1980s when the infield was opened to spectators and in 1984 Trevor Denman became the voice of Del Mar. The track still offered the best summer racing in the West and continued to grow in purses, handle and attendance.

In the 1990s the track underwent a major renovation. The grandstand of the Del Mar Fairgrounds was demolished and replaced. In 1991 the track ran its richest race to date, the $1,000,000 Grade I Pacific Classic Stakes. The first Classic was won by an impressive three-year-old named Best-Pal.

Into the new century the track continued to post records in handle and attendance and offered some of the greatest thoroughbred racing in America.

The Final Turn

Come on...let's go!

This was shot on the final corner as the horses were exiting the last turn before the run to the finish. What is fascinating about this shot is if you look closely at the horse to the left, all hoofs are in the air! This was a huge topic of debate at one time not long ago!

In 1872, former Governor of California Leland Stanford, a businessman and race horse owner, had taken a position on a popularly debated question of the day: whether all four of a horse’s hooves are off the ground at the same time during a gallop. Up until this time, most paintings of galloping horses showed the front legs extended forwards and the rear legs extended backwards.  Stanford sided with this assertion, called “unsupported transit”, and took it upon himself to prove it scientifically. Stanford sought out Muybridge and hired him to settle the question.

Muybridge used a series of large cameras that used glass plates placed in a line, each one being triggered by a thread as the horse passed. Later a clockwork device was used. The images were copied in the form of silhouettes onto a disc and viewed in a machine called a Zoopraxiscope. This in fact became an intermediate stage towards motion pictures or cinematography.

In 1877, Muybridge settled Stanford’s question with a single photographic negative showing Stanford’s racehorse Occident airborne in the midst of a gallop. This negative was lost, but it survives through woodcuts made at the time. By 1878, spurred on by Stanford to expand the experiment, Muybridge had successfully photographed a horse in fast motion.This series of photos taken in Palo Allto California, is called Sallie Gardner at a Gallop or The Horse in Motion, and shows that the hooves do all leave the ground — although not with the legs fully extended forward and back, as contemporary illustrators tended to imagine, but rather at the moment when all the hooves are tucked under the horse as it switches from “pulling” with the front legs to “pushing” with the back legs.

…and the Horses are Approaching the Gate

Another shot from the track at Del Mar in California during a wonderful Sunday of Horse Racing fun. We were able to get close to the action by asking very politely, “Miss, could we please stand here to take this shot?”  The kind Security Lady obliged and we got prime position to see the start of this race on the Turf at Del Mar!  We wanted to use a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 with 2x Teleconverter to it’s max by shooting wide open….this gives the sharp focus to the foreground and the blurry background as the anxious horses and Jockeys approach the Gate!  Now a bit more History!

By 1940, Del Mar became the summer playground for many Hollywood stars. Between 1942 and 1944 the facility was closed due to the Second World War. Initially, the grounds are used for training by the Marines, then as a manufacturing site for parts to B-17 bombers.

The first Bing Crosby Handicap was held at Del Mar in 1946 and that same year the Santa Fe Railroad began offering a racetrack special bringing spectators, bettors and horses to Del Mar from Los Angeles. Throughout the late 1940s and 1950s the track became the Saratoga of the West for summer racing. The track had large purses for many stakes, over half of which were won by the legendary jockey, Bill Shoemaker!

Where the Turf meets the Surf

We took our Granddaughter, Justina, to the Horse Races this Sunday in Del Mar, California. She had some great Exacta Box, Trifecta and Pick Three insights! This is a beautiful track to visit full of history and excitement. I had managed to get close to the brave Jockeys and captured a very competitive glance…these guys are serious! (This was  before the race where the beautiful horses are walked around for the onlooking fans)

Del Mar Racetrack is an American Thoroughbred Horse Racing track at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in the seaside city of Del Mar California, 20 miles north of  San Diego. Operated by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, it is known for the slogan: “Where The Surf Meets The Turf.” It was built by a partnership including Bing Crosby, the actor  Pat O’Brien, Jimmy Durante, Charles. S Howard and Oliver Hardy.

When Del Mar opened in 1937, Bing Crosby was at the gate to personally greet the fans. On August 12, 1938, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosted a $25,000 winner-take-all match race between Seabiscuit and Ligaroti. In an era when horse racing ranked second in popularity with Americans to Baseball, the match race was much written and talked about and was the first nationwide broadcast of a Thoroughbred race by NBC Rado In the race, Seabiscuit was ridden by jockey George Woolf and Ligaroti by Noel Richarson. In front of a record crowd that helped make the fledgling Del Mar race track a success, Seabiscuit won an exciting battle by a nose.