Derby Week Views Through the Eyes and Lens of Holly M. Smith: Tuesday’s Newest Additions & Arrivals

On Tuesday morn, a few more contenders for the 145th edition of the Kentucky Derby arrived in Louisville and on the premises of the world’s most renown and recognizable racetrack.

The Twin Spires stand majestically over the track as guardians and protectors of racing past, present and future.

The crowds stood crammed along the rail to catch a glimpse at their most favorite horse and a look at the future, and, perhaps history.

And, our very own Holly M. Smith stood on the track; stood at the barns; stood on the horse paths connecting the two; stood ready, willing and able to capture all the newbies making their first trips to the famed Churchill Downs’ dirt.

Here’s a closer look at Holly’s photos for Tuesday:

Maximum Security:

(Maximum Security, winner of the Florida Derby, had minimum security detail when he arrived at Churchill Downs on Tuesday. But our own Holly M. Smith was there. / Photos by Holly M. Smith)


(The beautiful Bellafina made an appearance on the track and then on the grass at Churchill Downs on Tuesday. She will be favored in Friday’s Kentucky Oaks / Photos by Holly M. Smith)


(Haikal, third in the most recent Wood Memorial, looking good on Tuesday / Photos by Holly M. Smith)


(Tax, runner-up in the Wood Memorial, made a nice appearance on Tuesday, as well / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

Master Fencer:

(What about the pink ear muffs on Master Fencer, rocking the “Gate Dancer” retro-look / Photo by Holly M. Smith)


(Blue Grass Stakes winner Vekoma is bright-eyed upon arrival to Churchill Downs / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Game Winner:

(Game Winner striding out at Churchill Downs on Tuesday a.m. / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Positive Spirit:

(Pretty gal, Positive Spirit, looking positive on Tuesday / Photo 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
  • Holly M. Smith

    Holly M. Smith

    Holly is a freelance photographer based in Louisville. While she maintains a full time job outside of the thoroughbred/horse industry she spends most of her free time around the racetrack. Horses and photography have been a part of Holly's life going all the way back to elementary school. In 2015 ...

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