Ellis Park Derby & Groupie Doll Stakes Day: Through the Eyes & Lens of Holly M. Smith

Editor’s Note:

It may be just another Summer’s Day for most. It may be just another sleepy Sunday morn for others. And, for many, it may be just another August heat wave to drive you to the pool or to the couch.

But not our very own Holly M. Smith.

We gave her the nickname of “Always Working.”

That’s because she always is doing just that: Always. Working.

And, on Sunday, it was no exception.

She loaded up the card with friends and her cameras and headed off to Henderson, KY. and a day full of live Thoroughbred racing at little Ellis Park.

This gal loves it almost as she does living.

Almost as much as she does photographing.

And, she has a blast at all three — living, racing, photography.

And, it shows it all her art forms.

Here’s are looks from Sunday at Ellis Park:

(A look at over the “Pea Patch” toward the river’s bridge)

(Jockey Corey Lanerie accepts the trophy after winning the Ellis Park Derby with Gray Magician)

(Eskenforit on the way to the track for the Ellis Park Derby)

(The final turn)

(Go Google Yourself in the post parade)

(Go Google Yourself in the stretch drive)

(Go Google Yourself nearing the wire in the Groupie Doll Stakes)

(Gray Magician passes Knicks Go in the final stages of the Ellis Park Derby)

(Gray Magician and his groom get the last laugh)

(Gray Magician nearing the wire)

(Jennie Rees mans the microphone for an interview)

(Trainer Paul McGee holds two trophies)

(And…their off — All 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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