“Downs After Dark:” Oh What a Night, Through the Eyes and Lens of Holly M. Smith

(“Oh What a Night” at Churchill Downs on Saturday for “Downs After Dark” / Photo by Holly M. Smith

Editor’s Note:

Our very own (or we like to claim her as one of ours, any ole’ way), Holly M. Smith, was on location at Churchill Downs on a warm, humid and balmy September Saturday Night and caught some great looks and better action.

Take a look at some of the highlights under “The Lights:”

(Jockey Gerald Melancon — better known in the Louisiana backlands as “G Money” — captures the Lukas Classic on Mocito Rojo / Photos by Holly M. Smith)


(How about these reactions after Mocito Rojo’s great win? / Photos by Holly M. Smith)


(Jockey James Graham gives the “Flying Victory” sign after winning the Jefferson Cup on Spectacular Gem / Photos by Holly M. Smith)


(Trainer Jimmy Baker celebrates after Spectacular Gem and Graham win the Jefferson Cup / Photos by Holly M. Smith)


(Mr. Freeze was hot to trot during and after his big win with jockey Robby Albarado in the Ack Ack Stakes / 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
  • 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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