(Fastly wins on the final day of racing at Churchill Downs in 2020 / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

Editor’s Note:

The final day of live racing at Churchill Downs has now come and gone. I think many are hoping that are troubles around the world with the COVID-19 pandemic will pass, too, with the flip of the calendar at the end of this dreadful year. We can always hope. Right?

But, through it all, the sport of Thoroughbred racing not only survived, but elevated its’ game maybe more than any other time in history. It provided an outlet for many harbored at home. It provided sports and entertainment when there was little to cheer and shout about. It provided an escape from the harsh realities of life, and the terrible outcome of illness and death that seemed to permeate our lives at every turn.

None provided racing any better than Churchill Downs — who ensured that the Kentucky Derby was held for the 146th time in history.

None did racing any better than Churchill Downs — who figured out a way to allow All fans to attend this Fall’s race meet, and get a chance to belly up to the rail and see, watch, and root for their favorite horses — even if their horse was not the post time favorite.

None did racing any better than Churchill Downs — who provided the world’s best venue for some of the world’s best horses, and allowed the “Stars of Tomorrow” to cast a wistful eye on the 2021 Kentucky Derby forecast.

And, there on Sunday to capture the final images was our very own Holly M. Smith.

Here are some of her looks:

(Assumption after a win)

(Atoka in the post parade)

(County Final on the way to the paddock)

(Eskenforit on the way to the track)

(Fastly is just that)

(Mike Maker wins the Churchill Downs’ Fall “Trainer’s Title.”)

(Tis Light the Way does just that)

(Tyler Gaffalione wins the “Jockey’s Title” at the Churchill Downs’ Fall Meet)