Keeneland Sales Grounds: Through the Eyes and Lens of Holly M. Smith

(Hip #30, a son of War Front, can be found at the Timber Town consignment of T. Wayne Sweezey in Barn 6 / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Editor’s Note:

On Saturday, I texted my great friend and fantastic equine photographer Holly M. Smith and asked if she was on her way down to Franklin, KY and the day of racing at KY Downs. Figured that she was horse bound. Figured that she had camera in hand.

After all, I affectionately call Holly “Always Working,” for a reason.

Figured right, on some accounts.

Holly was headed to take some photos of horses, alright.

But she was not on I-65 and headed to KY Downs.

She was on I-64 and headed to Keeneland. She wanted to get some photos of the yearlings getting ready for their first public exposure at the Keeneland September Yearling Sales, that begin on Monday.

Here’s a look at the horses, and the sale’s grounds — through the Eyes and Lens of Holly M. Smith:

(A yearling just shipped in for the Keeneland September Sale gets the wraps off, and Mt. Brilliant is ready to showcase its’ consignment / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(Hip 121, a son of Runhappy, loves the camera, and Hip 532, a colt by Into Mischief, are ready to be shown at Keeneland on Saturday / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(Hip 87, a filly by Frosted and a half-sister to Firing Line is on the left, while Hip 404, a colt by Into Mischief, is a sure beauty with the white blaze / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(An American Pharoah out of Dancing General waits a turn to showcase, while a buyer checks out the withers / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(Hip 314, a filly by Empire Maker, struts her stuff, while the Curlin-Catch the Thrill on the right waits a turn / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(Hip 133, another American Pharoah, is very attentive, and the Kitten’s Joy on the right, Hip 218, stands out and still / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(Hip 542, a Curlin filly out of Miss Bisilu, looks forward, while buyer Mandy Pope inspects a yearling / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(Hip 542, a Curlin from the Gainesway Farm consignment, is ready for inspection, while the Honor Code, on the left, is eyeing a potential buyer / Photos by Holly M. Smith)


(Hip 474 is on the left, while Hip 476, a Curlin chestnut is a beautiful red / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(Hip 246, an American Pharoah, and a roan on the right / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(Hip 434, a Tapit, is shown by the barn of Denali Stud / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

(Hip 30, a gray colt by War Front, is a real beauty / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(The Runhappy Bonus is being promoted on each Hip that qualifies / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

(It all will get started with this filly — Hip #1, a daughter of Tapit / 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
  • 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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