Angle Light Media: Blog en-us (C) Angle Light Media [email protected] (Angle Light Media) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:35:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:35:00 GMT Angle Light Media: Blog 120 79 Rise Up Wins! Delta Downs Jackpot! Delta Downs Jackpot– 7th Derby Prep Race

Rise Up Wins!

Delta Downs, Vinton LA

Well another exciting Kentucky Derby prep race is completed and we do have an emerging star in the 10-Rise Up! He broke well and by the first turn was on the lead. The 4-Mighty Brown and the 5-Rum Point were in behind him. Unfortunately the 2-Coastline broke poorly out of the gate and fell to his knees and ended up trailing the field. As the race developed Rise Up slowed on the lead and others started to catch up and were stalking him. Gerard Melancon had a choke hold on Rise Up. As he turned for home, Casiguapo, Rankhasprivileges and Coastline made their moves towards Rise Up. Gerard made the turn for home and let out the reins on Rise Up and he sped down stretch and won by 8 lengths breaking the Jackpot Race record at 1.44.71.  

Congrats to Rise Up, Jockey Gerard Melancon, Trainer T. Amoss and his team!  

Casiguapo and Rankhaspriviledges finished 2nd and 3rd.

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

Watch the Jackpot! Click on the link it is Saturday the 23rd and race 7.


By Howard Dinet, CEO Angle Light Media and Host of Chasing the Triple Crown.

[email protected] (Angle Light Media) Casigaupo Coastline Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes Gerard Melancon Ken McPeek Kentucky Derby Prep Race Mighty Brown Rankhaspriviledges Rise Up Rosie Napravnik Sat, 23 Nov 2013 23:14:52 GMT
The Jackpot - Rise up! Havana with Gary StevensHavana with Gary StevensHavana had a jockey switch because JR Velazquez was hurt earlier in the day. Gary Stevens was in the irons, for Todd Pletcher.



Delta Downs Jackpot – 7th Derby Prep Race

Rise up!

Delta Downs, Vinton LA

The seventh Kentucky Derby prep race is upon us. The Delta Downs Jackpot a Grade III, one million dollar 1 - 1/16 mile dirt race. Wow. That’s a bunch of cash! We have a great card of horses. We have a couple more preps this year then we enter into the three year old 2014 season. The class of these horse are a little less but, then the Breeders Cup Juvenile. But, I pay attention to all of the Derby prep races because you may see something that no one else does.  That’s how you win the big bucks, homework, diligence, paying attention and lots of practice. It’s a solid group, with ten in total. Delta Downs is between Houston, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana. There is also a solid Juvenile filly’s the 500K Delta Princess being run right before this one. 

One horse will emerge as a Kentucky Derby hopeful.

Here’s the lineup:

Delta Downs Jackpot - Points for the Kentucky Derby 10/4/2/1


ML: 10-1

E. Martin, Jr. 
117 Lbs

A. Smith



ML: 5-2

S. Bridgmohan
119 Lbs

M. Casse



Roman Unbridled 
ML: 30-1

K. Smith 
117 Lbs

C. Cook



Mighty Brown 
ML: 12-1

M. Mena 
117 Lbs

T. Ice



Rum Point 
ML: 5-1

M. Gutierrez 
117 Lbs

D. O'Neill



Flat Gone 
ML: 20-1

D. Saenz 
117 Lbs

J. Desormeaux



ML: 15-1

R. Albarado 
117 Lbs

K. McPeek



ML: 4-1

L. Saez 
117 Lbs

M. Morales



Big Bazinga 
ML: 12-1

R. Napravnik 
117 Lbs

K. Vassilieva



Rise Up 
ML: 3-1

G. Melancon 
119 Lbs

T. Amoss



My first pic-

10 - Rise up (Second Favorite)

·         Has ran 5 times and has won 3,

·         Has ran in a 200K, 1/16 race over this track Delta Downs has some class and experience.

·         88 Beyer’s

·         Ran a mile in 138.1

·         Workouts look solid of late

·         He won going away last time out.


He ran his best race last time out.

Coming out of the 10th hole may expend a bunch of energy early to get in stalking position.

He ran a mile couple seconds slower than Coastline.


My second Pic

2 - Coastline (Currently Favorite)

·         Ran 3 times and has won 2

·         86 Beyer’s

·         Ran a mile in 136.3


His best race was his last.

May get boxed into the rail if he doesn’t break well.

First time over this track.


My third pic-

8 - Casiguapo

·         Ran 4 times and has won 1 but, in the money

·         77 Beyer’s

·         Stretching out, I think this is an advantage for him.

·         I like Luis Saez also.


Has difficultly winning.

First time over this track.

Hasn’t showed much of late.

Big Bazinga & Rum Point will get to the top. Coastline and Rise Up will stalk. Mighty Brown will be up in the mix also. I think there is some speed in the race so if it’s really quick pace, it will set up well for Casiguapo and potentially Mighty Brown. Do a little Visual Handicapping before the race to see who looks good. Based on what I see any one of my top three pics could be my win bet. I will also box 4 horses in an exacta to see if I can catch something. I May pay a couple straight exactas also with Rise up and I’ll pic the second horse tomorrow maybe Mighty Brown. I'll do a little after race analysis to see if this post made any sense. Check out my podcast much of this content was shared!

Good luck!

Written by - Howard Dinet, CEO of Angle Light Media.

[email protected] (Angle Light Media) Big Bazinga Casiguapo Coastline Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes Doug O'Neill Luis Saez Mighty Brown Rise Up Rosie Napravnik Tim Ice Sat, 23 Nov 2013 07:27:40 GMT
New Year's Day! Wins on the rail! New Year's Day Coming backNew Year's Day Coming backMartin Garcia with his dirty winner Bob Baffert's New Year's Day! He saved ground coming up the rail to beat Havana making him a Kentucky Derby hopeful.

Sixth Race of the Kentucky Derby Prep Season - Breeders Cup Juvenile | 

I was at this year’s Breeders Cup. Santa Anita Park is fast becoming one of my favorite tracks in the country. Just the sight of it is something to behold. It’s massive but has a feeling of intimacy. It’s glitzy as Hollywood, but not overstated. I can feel the ghost of Sea Biscuit and a sense of history on the grounds. If you have never been, I urge you to go. My trip this year was memorable. I was a winner and my best friend won big also. This added to the excitement.


As we wind through the Kentucky Derby Prep Season each race brings something new and maybe some consistency or horses that are running well. Who knows if they will ultimately make it to the Kentucky Derby and have a shot at the Triple Crown? Every year I look for that horse with something special. Some of the best trainer’s in the country always have a few horses they are pointing towards the Kentucky Derby. I waited until the eighth race for the potential Kentucky Derby contenders to run. Bob Baffert’s New Year’s Day was 10-1. He wasn’t talked about much until this race was in its final two furlongs.


Race 8 - The Breeders Cup Juvenile was an exciting race. At the break from the gate, Conquest Titan, Rum Point and Strong Mandate from the 14th hole got out in front. The fractions were quick, the ¼ mile went in 22.66, the ½ in 45.38, the ¾ in 109.70 then the mile slowed a bit to 136.66 and the finish was 143.52. New Year’s Day broke well out of the 4th hole and got to the rail to save ground early, held at eight place up the backstretch and slowly moved to fifth at the top of the stretch as Havana was getting by Strong Mandate to the lead. New Year’s Day didn’t get an announcer’s call until he burst to the lead (on the rail) half way down the home stretch. He was under strong urging by Martin Garcia, quickly animated and picked up the pace and passed Havana on the inside to win by ¾’s of a length.


In my final analysis, Strong Mandate burned too much energy early going from the 14 hole to the lead he was pretty wide (off the rail), he had nothing left in the end. Havana was wide into the first turn and burned a bunch of energy staying with the leaders and in the end (lugging out) was tired but, it didn’t seem like Gary Stevens wasn’t urging him along at the end. Maybe J.R. Velazquez would have rode the race differently. Havana has grit and is tough in the stretch. I do think the last minute Jockey change made a little difference. Tap it Rich (second favorite) broke poorly and had a hard time getting into contention.


Martin Garcia did an excellent job on New Year’s Day. He saved ground early and brought the horse to the lead very patiently and he was urging the heck out of him in the end and that made the difference in winning. New Year’s Day had the most effective trip and it paid dividends in the end.


A couple quotes from Blood Horse:

"My horse doesn't have that too much pace," Garcia said (about New Year’s Day). "I was exactly where I wanted to be. The rail was open and I took it; I didn't panic."

"I thought he ran super," said trainer Todd Pletcher of runner-up Havana. "He just came up a little tired in the very last part there. I'm really happy with the way he positioned himself. Gary said he got a little bit lost when he made the lead turning for home."


The Video:


The Finish for the Breeders Cup Juvenile:


SAT. 11/2/13

Breeder Cup Juvenile



Final Odds/Jockey/Trainer


New Year's Day

10.50, Jockey Martin Garcia Tr. Bob Baffert



2.60*, Jockey Gary Stevens, Trainer Todd Pletcher


Strong Mandate

7.60, Jockey Joel Rosario, D.Wayne Lukas


Bond Holder

12.20, Jockey Martin Gutierrez, D. O’Neill


Tap It Rich

3.10, Jockey, Mike Smith, Bob Baffert



10.40, Jockey, Alan Garcia, R. Mettee


We Miss Artie

12.40, Jockey J.J. Castellano, Todd Pletcher


Dance with Fate

17.00, Rafael Bejarano, P. Euton


Diamond Bachelor

12.30, J. Leparoux, Patrick Biancone


Smarty's Echo

35.60, Jockey E. Baird, A. Smith


Medal Count

26.90, Jockey Robby Albarado, Dale Romans


Rum Point

55.70, Jockey E. Maldonado, Doug O’Neill


Conquest Titan

48.30, E. Da Silva, M. Casse


Chase for the Triple Crown - Standings

Breeders Cup Juvenile Santa Anita race 6 in the Derby Prep Series

Points Standings

1.      Havana                                                              14

2.      Bond Holder                                                       11

3.      New Year’s Day                                                 10

4.      We Miss Artie                                                    10

5.      Ami’s Holiday                                                     10

6.      Cleburne                                                           10

7.      Dance with Fate                                                4

8.      Honor Code                                                       4

9.      Smarty’s Echo                                                    4

10.  Smart Cover                                                        4

11.  Big Bazinga                                                         4

12.  Ride on Curlin                                                      3

13.  Strong Mandate                                                  2



By: Howard Dinet CEO of Angle Light Media. Please listen to Chasing the Triple Crown Podcast #8 which talks about this race and more!





[email protected] (Angle Light Media) 2013 Breeders Cup Bob Baffert Bond Holder Conquest Titan D. Wayne Lukas Dance With Fate Doug O'Neill Havana Mexikoma New Year's Day Rum Point Smarty's Echo Strong Mandate Todd Pletcher We Miss Artie Sun, 10 Nov 2013 22:53:47 GMT
Vibrant Sleeves: A Brief History of Jockey Silks

By Max Dinet

Flamingo pink with white stars, how crazy. It seems like an arbitrary combination, but in fact it has a very specific purpose and a heritage that dates back to the early dawn of horse racing. We all know and love the sight of the jockey silks. They're almost as fun as the huge hats of the Kentucky Derby, but very little is ever discussed about their origins and heritage.


The tradition of jockey silks was founded out of a necessity. Some of the earliest recorded horse races date back to the 1100s, and the first mention of silks is said to be around 1515 when Henry VIII was king. However it was later in the 17th and 18 centuries that it was more customary.


Early on, there weren't nearly as many racers as there were now. The older races were often much longer with some up to 4 miles. With fewer participants in the races, and longer distances there were not nearly as many close races to call, so it was easy to tell who was who, and more importantly who won.


As racing became more and more popular, more horse owners threw their names in the proverbial hat. Around the mid to late 1700's there was a need for a way to differentiate between the horses for both the fans and officials. This change was fraught with troubles as well, because the jockeys often changed the colors they wore, further adding a layer of confusion. A meeting was finally held, and the Jockey Club made a decision that each of the registered jockeys would be held to one color for easier identification. In the beginning, the colors were all solid, with a black cap. It has even been said that some racers would use a family coat of arms to further differentiate between other racers. Now the patterns, images, and colors we see today are often carefully chosen so they appear unique from other owners. 


While the silks are often referred to as "jockey silks" they seldom have to do with a particular jockey. The vast majority of silks are owned by a stable or a horse owner, and are registered in that organizations name. It is not unusual for a retiring owner to put their silk colors up for auction. Solid colored silks are some of the most sought after because there is often a long history associated with them and can go for a hefty sum.


Today, in The Jockey Club there are about 28,000 different registered silks, all unique from one another to represent each stable or owner. The silks are now made of synthetic material like nylon to make them more aerodynamic for the best racing performance. Additionally, each state's racing association may have different rules associated with the registration of silks, such as certain patterns or images.

[email protected] (Angle Light Media) Henry VIII History History of Jockey Silks Jockey Jockey Silks Racing Silks History The Jockey Club Mon, 28 Oct 2013 22:36:16 GMT
Young Guns - The Champagne at Belmont Park #4 Shanghai Bobby, #2 Speak Logistics & #1 Title Contender First Stretch Run R8 GG BC Juvenile#4 Shanghai Bobby, #2 Speak Logistics & #1 Title Contender First Stretch Run R8 GG BC JuvenileBusting down the stretch for the first time, Shanghai Bobby, Speak Logistics and Title Contender are moving at a fast clip.

Young Guns

Champagne Stakes – Belmont Park

Just on the horizon is the new Thoroughbred season. Every year I have great anticipation for the Triple Crown racing season. What horses will emerge from literally hundreds of top thoroughbred horses? Who will be in that select group to run for the roses in Kentucky, then potentially the Triple Crown? It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a winner and some say it can’t be done again. I disagree, call it optimism but, I think we’ll see a couple more in my lifetime.

Two year old horses (Juveniles) will have a great race in the five hundred thousand dollar, 134th running of The Foxwoods Champagne at Belmont Park. These horses potentially getting ready for the 2014 Derby season next year and prepping for the Breeders Cup Juvenile race in November. The Derby season is a long way out, but I’m excited about the race today.

This race was first run in 1867. It didn’t run because of a ban on pari-mutuel wagering from 1910-1913. It was given the same name as the British Champagne Stakes which is run annually in Doncaster Racecourse in South Yorkshire, England. Notable past winners include; Seattle Slew, Alydar, Spectacular bid and Easy Goer.

In today's running of the Champagne, the first horse of note is Trainer Todd Pletcher’s front running horse Havana. He showed some grit in his first maiden race when being pressed for the lead. He was just shy of the Saratoga track record for 5-1/2 furlongs and his beyer speed figure was 102. Unbridled Song’s blood runs in his veins and has Irad Ortiz riding. I’m not crazy about the jockey switch from J.R Velazquez to Irad Ortiz. Havana’s stamina will be tested today stretching out to a mile.

The second horse I really like is Trainer Shug McGaughey’s Honor Code. He ran super strong in his maiden voyage. He broke dead last, it was muddy, but coming down the stretch he took an inside route and blew by everyone and won going away by four lengths. Most impressive. His barrel shaped chest looked like Charles Atlas’ when he kicked into gear. He made up twenty lengths in a very short killing burst of speed.

The third horse I like is the experienced Trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ Strong Mandate. He won the seven furlong Hopeful Stakes race by nine lengths. D. Wayne has been very hot of late winning the Preakness and the Travers, maybe a third? Strong Mandate is a versatile closer and he has won a Grade 1 race.

Lastly, I can’t forget about Trainer Nick Zito’s Grand Arrival. He has all-star jockey Rosie Napravnik. He looks like a fit here.

There are some young talented horses running today and to pick one will be tough. In my mind the race will play out like this; Havana will be on the lead, if he doesn’t break loose on the lead, Honor Code and Strong Mandate will be gunning for him from the 8th pole.

In final analysis I think it will be Honor Code, or Strong Mandate, with Havana close by for third. Post time is 5:46 ET. Best of luck to all of the trainers, Jockeys and horses in the 134th running of the Champagne at Belmont!

[email protected] (Angle Light Media) Belmont Park D. Wayne Lukas Grand Arrival Havana Honor Code Nick Zito Shug Mcgaughey Strong Mandate Todd Pletcher Sat, 05 Oct 2013 17:49:35 GMT
Will Orb bounce or roll? The Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational - Belmont Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational – Belmont Park

Orb Flying Down the Stretch FD13Orb Flying Down the Stretch FD13Orb comes down the home stretch in big loping strides passing Itsmyluckyday. He does this with relative ease.

Late Friday night I’m contemplating tomorrow’s race card at Belmont. With blurry eyes, I’m focusing my thoughts on the 95th running of the Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational. Some great horses have won this race which started in 1919. The likes of War Admiral, Curlin, John Henry and Cigar all have landed in the Winner’s Circle in this prestigious race. Some would consider this to be a prep race for the 5 million dollar, Grade I, Breeder’s Cup Classic in early November.

Tomorrow’s horses are some of the most talented horses the past few years has to offer. We have Shug McCaughey’s 2013 Kentucky Derby winner hard closing Orb, The 2013 Belmont winner the Todd Pletcher trained beast Palace Malice, the front running Whitney Handicap winner Cross Traffic, the Woodward winner Alpha and Flat Out the winner of this race in 2011 & 2012 to name a few.

I think a number of horses could win it.

The way the race should set up is Alpha and the beautifully colored Cross Traffic will get out on the lead. Between the two, Cross Traffic will get on top. He ran really strong in the Whitney. If the fractions are not blistering John Velazquez will ease Cross Traffic along maybe even slow it down up to the half mile marker in the race. Palace Malice and Flat Out will get in stalking positions, maybe even try to press the early leaders. Palace Malice had gate troubles in the Travers. So if he is in stalking position he is a very dangerous horse. Flat Out won the Jockey Club Gold Cup in both 2011 and 2012 so he loves this track! So he is a force to consider here also.  Cross Traffic got wobbly in the Whitney at the end of the mile and a 1/8, I feel he will run out of gas in the end.

Now Orb will be just off all other leading horses maybe sitting in 5th or sixth. He has a new Jockey, J.J. Castellano, for this ride so I’m not sure what to expect with the switch. He can’t be too far off the lead because he will never catch the front runners. I think Shug will have him in better form for this race because he just missed in the Travers. I think it will be a duel between Orb and Palace Malice to the finish with Orb winning by a Length.

In final analysis I think it will be Orb, or Palace Malice, with Flat Out close by for third. Cross Traffic gets up for forth. Post time is 5:49 ET. Best of luck to all of the trainers, Jockeys and horses in the Jockey Club Gold Cup!



[email protected] (Angle Light Media) 2013 Travers Stakes Alpha Belmont Park Belmont winner Palace Malice Jockey Club Gold Cup Winner Flat Out Kentucky Derby winner Orb Orb Palace Malice Ron the Greek Shug McGaughey III The Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational Todd Pletcher Triple Crown Sat, 28 Sep 2013 17:27:23 GMT
Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner! D. Wayne Lukas is Back! - 2013 Pennsylvania Derby! I went to R.T. O ‘Sullivan’s in Mesa, AZ, for a few beers in celebration of Oktoberfest and settled in to watch the Pennsylvania Derby. It was a great race in the post Parade WILL TAKE CHARGE looked the best to me on his toes and happy. D. Wayne Lukas still has a few tricks up his sleeves. As I had written earlier Will Take Charge's form improved off of the Travers Stakes. 

I plunked a few bucks on his nose and played a few exactas, He broke from the gate hesitantly. He sat about fifth all the way around the track. First on the outside then Luis tucked him closer to the rail. 

As they turned for home, the wall of horses in front of him lugged out, a brief hole cracked open and Luis Saez made a great move down inside and blew everyone away down the home stretch. It looks like he has spent a bit more time with Will Take Charge, he is a big lumbering horse, and the move he made at the top of the Stretch was impressive. It was both patient, well timed and the amount of stamina Will Take Charge demonstrated is a quality of a great horse.

Moreno held on for second. The race set up much differently than the Travers so the versatility of Will Take Charge is another great attribute. Three year old horse of the year? I’m starting to think so.

Congratulations to WILL TAKE CHARGE and D. Wayne Lukas and Luis Saez!!!

[email protected] (Angle Light Media) D. Wayne Lukas Luis Saez Moreno Parx Race Track Pennsylvania Derby Travers Stakes Will Take Charge Sat, 21 Sep 2013 23:22:44 GMT
D. Wayne is Back! - 2013 Pennsylvania Derby Sitting with my semi-warm coffee and a bagel, I’m thinking about the 34th running of the Pennsylvania Derby with a one million dollar purse. Admittedly, I haven’t really paid attention to this race in the past. I’m an avid cyclist and last weekend I put the finishing touches on a tear in my meniscus. I have some additional time on my hands, the knee is locking so I need to focus on something else…The Grade II, Pennsylvania Derby.

It’s a great line up of horses and should be a solid race.

77 year old D. Wayne Lukas’s lumbering closer Will Take Charge is in the race with the relative new up and coming Jockey Luis Suez. He held him close to the lead and closed well with him in the Travers Stakes. The Travers set up well for him, it was a big effort but, he may be in even better form off of the win in the Travers Stakes.

Let’s not forget about Moreno his Beyer Speed Figures are strong in his last three races.  He held on gamely in the Travers and wouldn’t expect anything less in this race, if he is loose on the lead he may even win.

I’m hot and cold on Julien Lepardoux although I saw how he handled Successful Dan after he flipped on his back in the post parade for the Whitney Handicap and I have new admiration for him. Julien is riding Java’s War, any horse that runs in the Kentucky Derby, I’d keep an eye on. He has had a trainer switch recently with Barclay Tagg which may be a good thing. He ran a 46 second 4 furlong workout which is smoking fast in my opinion.

I also like Fury Kapcori with Hall a Fame Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and who doesn’t like Jockey Mike Smith. He is carrying 7 lbs. less than Will Take Charge. His beyer speed figures have been steadily improving. He’s taking a jump in Class but, he could get there.

In final analysis I think it will be Will Take Charge, with Java’s War flying at the end. Moreno will get up for third. Post time is 5:45 ET. Best of luck to all of the trainers, Jockeys and horses in the Pennsylvania Derby!



[email protected] (Angle Light Media) Barclay Tagg Beyer Speed Figures D. Wayne Lukas Fury Kapcori Java's War Jerry Hollendorfer Mike Smith Moreno Pennsylvania Derby Speak Logistics Transparent Sat, 21 Sep 2013 17:57:37 GMT
Graveyard of Favorites - 2013 Travers Graveyard of Favorites – 2013 Travers

Rail on a Staircase leading to the Clubhouse Grandstands










The Travers is the biggest race of the summer. Triple Crown horses usually point towards this race. It’s also the oldest race in the country started in 1864. Historically it’s always a very interesting race and it is the graveyard of favorites.

After watching the Travers more than a few times this morning with my cup of coffee, a plate of bacon and some cheese curds, I realized a few things. I now understand why D. Wayne Lukas is a Hall a Fame Trainer and that I may have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I do obsess over things. It has always served me well, although my wife and sons may have another opinion. Why did Orb lose? What happened to Verrazano and Palace Malice? How did WILL TAKE CHARGE win? It’s all so clear to me after the race.

Orb had the lead at one point running down the home stretch, he was running pretty strong had the rail and saved ground most of the trip. The fractions where slow, 24.4, 48.8, 137.4 and 202.6 which worked against Orb. Plus he hung a bit tighter to the lead than he usually does. He had a new Jockey, Jose Lezcano a good jockey but he’s not Joel Rosario. Plus he’s had a sizable lay off. When asked about the race, I like Shug’s comment; “You can’t cry over spilled milk”. Something my dad will tell me when things didn’t go my way. Shug says they will point him toward something else. I think his effort was solid, just hanging on to third. I really liked Orb for this although my emotions may have gotten the best of me.

Verrazano broke well and had a little incident in trying to get outside. He hit traffic and was steadied on the front stretch. He eventually got in stalking position all the way around the track, typical trip for him. He just didn’t fire at the end. At the top of the stretch, he was a bit blocked, horses ran by him on the outside and then he faded quickly. I stick by my statement when you have a big effort like he did in the Haskell running 116 beyer speed figure winning by 9-3/4 lengths, your next race could be a challenge.  

Palace Malice, hit the gate when he broke and almost fell to his knees. This put him in the back of the pack and he looked shook up. Slowly he picked off horses as they headed to the top of the stretch. He made a big move down the stretch and he almost got up for third.  Based on his lousy start, he had a fairly impressive rally at the end. If he had a clean start, I think he would have won.

Moreno ran tough, he sped up more than once in his stretch drive. He was game and held on grudgingly. I think they need to shorten him up to a mile or 7 Furlongs.

D. Wayne Lukas in taking with WILL TAKE CHARGE’s owner, he stated “They had to do a little with him”. They took off his blinkers and he put on some muscle mass after his Triple Crown bid.  Based on how WILL TAKE CHARGE ran in the Jim Dandy (second), D. Wayne switched jockeys from Junior Alvarado to Luis Saez. I watched the Jim Dandy video a couple times and he has some lumbering closing speed. One comment made by Luis Saez was “I watched the replays of the Jim Dandy and I knew how to ride him”.

He stayed a bit closer to the early speed with Orb switching between fourth and fifth place. He started his closing bid just in time lunging to nip Moreno by a nose. Luis is a twenty-one years old and this was his first Grade I win, someone to watch.

Palace Malice had a lousy start but, finished strong. Moreno ran tough as nails. Orb and Verrazano didn’t have enough at the end.

WILL TAKE CHARGE ran a great race!



[email protected] (Angle Light Media) 2013 Travers Stakes D. Wayne Lukas D.Wayne Lukas Jose Lezcano Orb Palace Malice Saratoga Race Track Todd Pletcher Travers Stakes Verrazano Will Take Charge Sun, 25 Aug 2013 23:36:00 GMT
Travers - Will Take Charge wins! The Travers was an exciting race. Moreno broke well and got to the top and lead most of the way around, Orb broke well and saved ground on the rail. Moreno held on super tough in the home stretch. D. Wayne Lukas' WILL TAKE CHARGE came flying at the end. Orb had every opportunity to get to Moreno and couldn't pull it off.

WILL TAKE CHARGE nipped Moreno by a nose. I had though based on his race in the Jim Dandy that WILL TAKE CHARGE would be up in the mix but, didn't expect he'd win. He's a big horse (17 Hands) and he is for sure hitting his stride! Congrats to his Trainer D.Wayne Lukas, Horton Willis, Owner and Luis Saez, his new jockey!

I'm a bit sad that Orb didn't pull through but, that's racing. He ran a good race. 

PS-Take a look at WILL TAKE CHARGE in the Jim Dandy and you will see why I liked him!




[email protected] (Angle Light Media) D.Wayne Lukas Jose Lezcano Orb Palace Malice Todd Pletcher Travers Stakes Verrazano Will Take Charge Sat, 24 Aug 2013 22:10:00 GMT
The Travers Stakes - Orb 2013 Travers Stakes - Saratoga

Thinking about today's race it's a great field of horses. The consider the winner of the Belmont Stakes, Palace Malice. He has the great Trainer Todd Pletcher who trains some of the best horses in the country. He also has Mike Smith who seems to be a very patient even tempered rider and just a nice guy. His recent works are okay. His win in the Jim Dandy was respectable. He ran a career high beyer speed figure of 107. I'm not crazy about him coming back to that number. Verrazano ran a huge race in the Haskell, also ran the beyer of his life of 116. He seems tough to beat. The only race he lost was the Kentucky Derby. Todd Pletcher again is his trainer. I do like Verrazano. My pick for today is Orb. I had him in all three Triple Crown races and he seems rested and I love his workouts of late. If I didn't bet him and he won, I'd kick myself. He also has Shug, Jenn Patterson and Joel Rosario. I put him back on my home page because he's a strong contender. Third favorite for a Derby winner? Okay I'll take it.

What's not to like?

Dancing Orb FD13















I think Moreno will be on the lead with Verrazano off his shoulder with Palace Malice right up close also. Once they start rounding the turn for home Verrazano will make his move. If the pace is slow he will have a great shot. If its fast it may set up nicely for Orb. He'll be flying at the end. I think Will Take Charge will be moving well at the end also.

I'd really like to see Orb win another! Good luck to him and all his supporters.



[email protected] (Angle Light Media) 2013 Travers Stakes Orb Palace Malice Verrazano War Dancer Will Take Charge Fri, 23 Aug 2013 20:48:00 GMT
The Whitney Improvisation  

The Whitney Improvisation

Improvisation is the practice of acting, dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, talking, creating art, problem solving, or reacting in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one's immediate environment and inner feelings.

Sometimes I move with grace and fluidity and other times like a dancing bear. With all the camera gear and throngs of people, shooting a horse race can be a challenge. It is an art form. You are constantly faced with obstacles and problems to get to your end goal of getting a few great shots out of a few hundred pictures. Acting quickly and going on gut instincts are part of the fun and terror of being a racing photographer. I decided to go to the Whitney because of Fort Larned. Seeing him win the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita was exciting.Fort Larned on the Path-0303

Early on the day of the Whitney, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and drove to Saratoga full of anticipation for the day ahead. I planned to stop at the training track and take some photos of the new Whitney Viewing Stand. I am a race fan and avid bettor; I had to finish handicapping all races and finally bet all of the races before the day began. My mind was buzzing. It was cloudy early on with some sprinkles, so I packed some insurance and put a thick plastic bag in my back pocket in case I had to get my camera out of the rain.  The sky loomed with grey-bellied clouds, and they looked like trouble. Wonderful, something else to fret about.

After I parked my car trackside, I wandered over to the Oklahoma training track just off Union Ave. It’s a ramshackle conglomeration of old stables and a training track. The grooms, riders, maintenance workers, and security scuttled about doing their jobs before the big day. I dodged puddles and trudged up the muddy dirt road. The sky took a break and allowed some blue through, surrounded by clouds. Could it possibly clear up? My wife once told me when blue peeked through, the clouds would clear. She was a lifeguard for a long time so I found comfort in her words.

Saratoga Race Course was having its 150th birthday. They dedicated the Whitney Viewing Stand. This extraordinary viewing platform is built on the Oklahoma Training Track.  Newly built as a replica of judge’s stand at the Saratoga Race Track in 1892, it stood about three stories tall.  An ornate staircase lined with turned ball balusters ran up to and around the platform with benches. The hipped copper roof had exposed roof trusses underneath and a weather vane finial to top it off. Standing there was very peaceful as I watched horses running by rhythmically snorting and puffing in unison, their hooves clomping. The trudge over from the main track was worth it.

Saratoga is my favorite track in the country. There is an essence of history that mingles subtly with the trappings of modern day, a festive peacefulness. I love getting to the track early in the morning; you are free to wander as the workers prep for the race. The day before, I was tinkering with shooting in black and white. The effect added a touch of nostalgia that brought the images to life in the perfect way. It felt proper for the historic 150th birthday for Saratoga.

Just before race one, the sun shone and a breeze moved the clouds away. My wife was right. I positioned myself down on the fence of the paddock. I watched the paddock clock tick down to the first race as the sun beat on my dome. Slan Alhaile won the first race, I had a few bucks on his nose.  I proceeded to win the third with Diamond Maker, the forth with Quantity, the sixth with Gimme Credit, and the eighth with Tetradrachm.  My early bets paid off and I was up for the day.

The Whitney Handicap was finally here, the race was loaded with talent. Successful Dan, Mucho Macho Man, Fort Larned, Cross Traffic, Alpha, Ron the Greek, Csaba and Fast Falcon. I had to fight my way to the paddock. When I finally reached the paddock it was three people deep against the fence. Time for Plan B. I quickly moved back into the Clubhouse and went to the far West end. There was a little tiny piece of fence on the path to the track that I could potentially shoot from. I chatted with a father and daughter as they waited for the horses to stroll by. They told me for the past five years they had been coming to the Whitney and always lined up in that exact spot.

The crowd teemed with excitement. I got on my toes and looked north up the path and saw the bobbing heads of outriders approaching. I started to think how I would snap the Whitney horses as they passed by. The sun was in a frustratingly bad spot, and there were huge bushes and trees on either side of the path. My window to shoot was tiny, but it vanished when a guy with dreadlocks pushed in front of me with his racing program in my line of sight. Damn it. He stood for a moment and pulled back a little, and I had a clear view again.

The heads of the magnificent beasts emerged. I pulled up my camera and all of a sudden I heard a ruckus. Some people screamed and a dull groan rose like something was terribly wrong. Successful Dan spooked and had fallen on his back. He struggled to get back up on his feet. The path was narrow and he blocked all of it. His jockey Julien Leparoux, leapt off his back and gotten out of the way just in time. All in a matter of seconds they were right in front of me. I pulled up my camera, and just as I looked at Successful Dan’s face, he looked right back. I could see that he was terrified. He had foamed at the mouth and Julien was petting his neck and talking in a soothing way to calm him down. Two handlers held his reins did the same with grave looks on their faces. I didn’t snap the picture. Something told me it may have made matters worse. The poor beautiful animal, I felt awful. It shook me up a bit, and I didn’t really get any good shots with the exception of Cross Traffic coming out for the post parade.

The starting gate was almost in front of my seat, awesome. I clicked away. The horses just started to make their way to the gate. I noticed in the post parade that Cross Traffic looked very happy and pranced on his toes. J.R. Velasquez's bright yellow silks set a great contrast to his Horse, Cross Traffic. The horses coat was a blend of brown and grey which resulted in an interesting putty hue, a very unique color.

They finally loaded all of the horses and Tom Durkin came over the loud speaker:

“They’re off in the Whitney handicap”.

And theyRace 9 Busting out of the Gate

Cross Traffic exploded out of the gate. Mucho Macho Man was close to him around the first turn.  Fort Larned was in chase. The three of them bolted around the track and broke away six to seven lengths ahead of the field. Fort Larned was in a great stalking position running strong.

At the half they had run a respectable 47 and 1/5.  Coming to the top of the stretch Fort Larned made his move and started gaining on Cross Traffic. Mucho Macho Man made a move as well, on the outside. I snapped pictures as fast as I could, dodging big posts in the Clubhouse Grandstand. At the top of the stretch, Fort Larned gave way and quickly faded. As the horses neared a small opening that offered the perfect shot of the race, everyone in front of me stood. Crap. I had to stand up too and refocus. Mucho Macho Man hung on
and Cross Traffic maintained his lead. Out of nowhere Successful Dan came rumbling down the stretch and got to the tail of Cross Traffic as he hit the wire. Cross Traffic wins wire to wire!

In reflection, sadly Fort Larned finished fifth. Successful Dan finished surprisingly well. He closed hard and got up for second. Maybe if he hadn't spooked in the path leading to post parade he could have won. If it were a longer race, he could have caught up. Cross Traffic ran a solid race. He expended a bunch of energy early on and got loose on the lead. Though he began to waver at the end, he managed to stave everyone off.

At the end of the race I reviewed my photographs. I was disappointed at first, when I realized that all the pictures were black and white. After I thought about it, I realized it fit. It bought me back over the 150 years that Saratoga has been racing at this gorgeous track. Improvisation is a big part of racing and race photography. You never know what’s going to transpire to until the horses hit the wire.

Cross Traffic air born

[email protected] (Angle Light Media) Alpha Cross Traffic Csaba Fast Falcon Fort Learned Horses John R. Velazquez Julien R. Leparoux Mucho Macho Man Photos Ron the Greek Saratoga Race Course Successful Dan Thoroughbred Horse Racing Thoughts Whitney Handicap Whitney Handicap 2013 reactions Mon, 19 Aug 2013 21:17:49 GMT