Churchill Downs’ 2YO Stakes Day: Through the Eyes & Lens of Holly M. Smith

Editor’s Note:

We affectionately refer to photographer Holly M. Smith as “Always Working.”

That’s because she is.

And, she is working at the thing she loves the best: photographing Thoroughbreds in action.

On Sunday, the opening day of the Churchill Downs’ November Meet, Holly M. Smith was back at it.


Always working.

Always getting photos.

Always doing what she loves best. Watching and enjoying Thoroughbred racing and its’ most amazing athletes in the world.

Here’s a closer glimpse at what she saw on Sunday:

(South Bend is now 3-for-3 after winning the Street Sense Stakes)

(South Bend winning)

(Finite is infinitely beautiful)

(Chocolate Martini schooling)

(Photos by Holly M. Smith)

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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