Why Own a Racehorse: Holly M. Smith Photos Tell You Why

(Eddie uses his own comb to help “pretty up” his new best friend — Seek N Justice — at the barn of Buff Bradley)

If you ever want to get a great photograph of a horse, just give Holly M. Smith a call. Or, better yet, just run into the lovely lady on the backside of a racetrack near you.

You will see her, if you look hard enough. She is the little, likable lady with the camera hanging around her neck and the smile hanging on her face.

She absolutely loves what she does. And, it shows. For a lifetime, it shows. If pictures can tell a thousand words, then her photos are worth millions. Unlike any person I have ever known, the camera is like a paintbrush in her hand.

While the Native American may have thought that the camera stole the soul, Holly M. Smith steals the show. With a snap of her finger, she captures the heart. With a instant push of a button, she can brushstroke the subject. With just a second in time, she can give you something that can last a lifetime.

The other morning, as I was walking back to the barn with Seek N Justice — our 2-year-old colt who was making his first trip to the Churchill Downs track — I ran into Holly. I waved and asked her over to meet our newest student to the game.

It didn’t take long before Holly, with camera in hand, was at work. And, here is what she captured, in addition to magic:

(Seek N Justice with his newest, best friend Eddie)

(First bath)

(What a look)

(Colt and Friend)

Thank you Holly M. Smith. You capture it all.


I loved how he did it,” said Scott Blasi, chief assistant to trainer Steve Asumssen. “Angel was really happy with him and said, ‘I never asked him to do anything.’”

Gun Runner won the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar Racetrack on Nov. 4 and has been training for the Pegasus World Cup at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. He shipped to Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18 and, following Asmussen’s playbook, had his final breeze over the track he will compete on. Blasi said that Gun Runner handled the shipping to South Florida and the new surface without incident.

“He’s just been really special to us and he continues to do exactly what you want him to do,” Blasi said. “It’s kind of unheard of over a three-year career. I’m just really happy with how he got over the ground. He’s cooling out great and is ready for Saturday.”

Scott Blasi, the assistant trainer of Gun Runner, after the colt put in his final workout in preparation for the Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Saturday, Jan 27 at Gulfstream Park
  • 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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