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.


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 ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean